Real Madrid has secured its place in the Copa del Rey final after a stunning 4-0 victory over arch-rivals Barcelona at Camp Nou. It was a dramatic turnaround from the first leg, where Barcelona had won 1-0. The match was an intense battle between two of the biggest clubs in world football, but Real Madrid emerged victorious on the night.
The game started with Barcelona in control, but Real Madrid gradually grew into the match before Vinícius Jr. scored the crucial equalizer in first-half stoppage time.
The second half belonged to Karim Benzema, who scored a hat-trick in 30 minutes to seal a famous victory. Benzema’s performance was reminiscent of the great Ferenc Puskás, the last Real Madrid player to score a hat-trick at Camp Nou in 1963.
Real Madrid’s head coach Carlo Ancelotti praised his team’s performance: “If you don’t make it complete, you can’t win 0-4 here. In the first half, we had difficulties, but the first goal changed the dynamics of the whole match. It’s a game in which personality and experience are fundamental aspects. We mixed the energy of Rodrygo, Valverde, and Camavinga with the experience of Vini, Modric, and Kroos. They played a spectacular game.”
This result is sobering for Barcelona, who had won three consecutive Clásicos before this match. However, the Catalan side remains 12 points clear of Real Madrid in La Liga and is all but assured of winning its 27th league title with 11 matches remaining.
Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez acknowledged Real Madrid’s superiority on the night: “Congratulations to Real Madrid, who had a great second half. If you show Madrid mercy, they don’t show you mercy. Sleeping will be hard, as I am from Barcelona, and many of the squad are. But tomorrow, we think about Girona.”
Real Madrid will now face Osasuna in the Copa del Rey final, as the latter side edged past Athletic Bilbao 2-1 on aggregate to reach the final for the second time in the club’s history. It is an exciting encounter, as Real Madrid will be eager to secure their 20th Spanish Cup.