Rodrygo scores twice to win Copa del Rey for Real Madrid against ...
- Final: Real Madrid 2-1 Osasuna
- Rodrygo 2 70; Torró 58
Carlo Ancelotti completed the collection at La Cartuja, his Real Madrid side achieving in 19 months what he said many clubs never do in as lifetime. Clubs such as the one his team defeated here. Osasuna fought to the end, more than making a match of this, but were eventually defeated in only the second final in their history.
An accidental appointment, returning to the Santiago Bernabéu thanks to a conversation about something else entirely, the Italian coach added the Copa del Rey to the league, Champions League, Spanish and European Super Cups and Club World Cups won in his second spell.
Two goals from Rodrygo either side of a Lucas Torró equaliser saw another trophy head to the Bernabéu, although it was his Brazilian team mate Vinícius Júnior who would define this game with a demonstration of athleticism and skill that was awe-inspiring at times. When he is like this, there is little you can do. Osasuna tried – oh, they tried – but ultimately he proved unstoppable. Even the employment of two full-backs was not enough. Vinícius simply beat both, and right from the beginning.
The game was not even two minutes old when he carried the ball past Jon Moncayola and Rubén Peña all the way to the byline to pull back for Rodrygo to finish, and that would become a recurring theme. All that planning was in pieces, or so it seemed. Instead, Osasuna reaction was actually pretty good, both immediately afterwards and again in the second half. The problem was that Vinícius was even better.
From the right, Peña delivered three crosses for three headers inside 10 minutes: Thibaut Courtois comfortably saved the first from Ante Budimir, had to stretch to reach the second from Torró, and then watched the third, also from Torró, go wide. Abde Ezzalzouli then got away from Éder Militão but, one on one with the keeper, saw his clipped shot cleared off the line by Dani Carvajal.
Osasuna’s approaches gave Madrid the chance to release Vinícius, who was flying, his opening half an hour absurd. One thing was the game everyone else was playing; another was the game he was, Moncayola mercilessly shredded. If the moment Vinícius let the ball run through his legs and set off up the line, leaving the bamboozled defender behind, was the most dazzling then it wasn’t by much. As it turned out, it wouldn’t even be the only time he did just that. Every time Vinícius was there, he was gone.
He was the one that laid off for Fede Valverde to shoot over, forced the first yellow card for Moncayola, and again escaped on the left to set up Karim Benzema, Sergio Herrera pulling off an extraordinary save that he celebrated as if he had scored. He it was, too, who bent a shot just wide, moments after David Alaba had crossed a free-kick off the bar. Yet he was also the one that was then in the middle when this game spilled over, confronting David García, Pena and Chimy Ávila, getting a card of his own. Teammates and Ancelotti pulled him away, exasperated at how unnecessary it was.
Worse for Madrid, Osasuna found a way back in, Torró hitting a superb shot from the edge of the area that was reward for the way they had begun the second half. In the celebration, the barriers at the front of the Osasuna end appeared to give way, stewards, police and medical staff sent running over.
Osasuna were exercising control now, pushing Madrid back, and Ezzalzouli was the winger with the presence. But then, suddenly, Vinícius was away for the first time since the break, a brilliant dash taking him beyond everyone and all the way to the byline again. Toni Kroos’s shot was blocked but it fell to Rodrygo to lift over Herrera and into the net.
Osasuna fought to the finish, chasing a fifth consecutive extra time of an extraordinary cup run to be proud of, but it was not to be. When Ávila found Kike Barja deep into stoppage time and the six-yard box, he couldn’t force the ball in, another cup under Carlo Ancelotti heading to the Bernabéu three days before Manchester City do.
- Copa del Rey
- Real Madrid
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