It was a night to forget for the FC Barcelona faithful as they watched their team’s best hope for silverware dashed to pieces by a Gareth Bale goal.
An “el clasico” match between Barcelona and Real Madrid is always an exciting affair, though some thought it surreal to see Cristiano Ronaldo unable to take part.
As Barcelona found out, the Madrid club was more than up for the task of facing off against their rival for the Copa del Rey trophy. With or without their talisman Ronaldo.
A statement of intent was made ten minutes in with a brilliant goal by Angel Di Maria. Real Madrid was remarkably aggressive until the close of the first half, but was unable to finish any of their numerous chances.
The lack of finishing at 1-0 up led to a bad case of nerves coming into the second half of the Copa del Rey final.
Barcelona was determined to bring the score level. They pushed the retreating Real Madrid until a chance presented itself. The game evened out into a 1-1 thriller following a Marc Bartra goal in the 68th minute.
Thank you @MarcBartra91 from the bottom of my heart ♥ pic.twitter.com/1zuomdFOSG
— ❥Ahl4m (@98Ahlam) April 16, 2014
With the game all tied up heading down the the wire, it looked like it would be another Copa del Rey final between these two sides that would be played into extra time.
Then Gareth Bale netted a magnificent 84th minute goal. The effort was enough to make some feel the former Spurs forward justified his historic price tag at last.
The close of the game was tense right into the final seconds with Barcelona threatening to level things once again.
Real Madrid held on and Barcelona lost out.
Gareth #Bale's brilliance settles #CopaDelRey final as Real Madrid beat Barcelona. Read more: http://t.co/TUDvd1fdJu pic.twitter.com/jEKIhcCTYK
— CNN Football Club (@CNNFC) April 16, 2014
With this Copa del Rey win, Real Madrid was able to assure they won’t finish the season empty handed. They also have a chance to catch Atlético Madrid and win the La Liga title. Both teams advanced to the semifinals in the Champions League.
All in all, the final few weeks of the season seem bright for the Madrid team. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the defeated Barcelona team.
They were knocked out of Champions League contention last week by Atlético Madrid. This loss marks their third defeat in a row, a first since 2003.
With form fading, it’s possible that Barcelona may fall out of competition for the league altogether. This would see the Barça team finish the season in a surprising manner: with nothing to show for a promising start.
Cristiano Ronaldo consoled "rival" Lionel Messi in the aftermath of Madrid's Copa del Rey triumph (via @TSBible). pic.twitter.com/bDMsspSpUd
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) April 16, 2014
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