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Late Bale's goal gives Real Madrid Copa del Rey final win over Barcelona

English.news.cn   2014-04-17 07:51:16

MADRID, April 16 (Xinhua) -- An incredible goal from Gareth Bale five minutes from time gave Real Madrid a 2-1 win over FC Barcelona in the final of the Kings Cup knockout competition on Wednesday night.

Real Madrid were looking to be in trouble when Bale received the ball inside his own half and his pace and power took him past Marc Bartra and clean through on goal to score with a low shot.

Before Bale's goal the game had looked to be heading into extra time after goals from Angel Di Maria and Bartra had left the scores level.

The good news for Barcelona before kick off was that Bartra was able to recover from his hamstring injury and took his place alongside with Javier Mascherano in defense, while as expected Cristiano Ronaldo was out injured and replaced by Isco.

Isco's inclusion allowed coach Carlo Ancelotti to correct one of his side's errors from their recent league defeat to Barca in which they were overwhelmed in midfield as he played in a deeper role than usual leaving Bale and Karim Benzema as a two-man attack.

Real Madrid started the more aggressive of the two sides, pressuring Barca high up the pitch and closing down their midfield trio of Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and Sergio Busquets, while looking to play direct passes to Bale and Benzema.

Bale fired two chances just wide before Di Maria opened the scoring following a classic break that needed just two passes from Isco and Benzema to set him free to beat Jose Pinto with a low left foot shot.

Barca had more of the ball, but it tended to go to the wings and Real Madrid were content to keep things tight in the center of the pitch and win any headers in their penalty area.

Leo Messi meanwhile was once again a peripheral figure, struggling to get involved and unhappy with the close attention he was receiving from his markers.

Tata Martino needed to change things at halftime for Barcelona and replaced Jordi Alba with Adriano, but the opening minutes were if anything, worse for the Catalans, who at times seemed almost lost as Bale stabbed one shot wide and hit another over the bar following some chaotic defending.

Pedro Rodriguez replaced Cesc Fabrigas on the hour, just before Sergio Ramos headed a corner into Pinto's hands and Benzema saw a shot deflected wide after Busquets lost the ball in midfield. Benzema then saw a shot pushed wide and from the resulting corner Bale had a goal disallowed for a previous foul on Pinto as Madrid threatened to assure their win.

However, just as the game looked ready for sentencing Bartra equalized with a towering header that gave Casillas no chance.

The goal gave Barca some life and they started to take the game to Madrid, but Bale's late strike ensured there would not be a historic fightback, even though Neymar should have leveled again in the last minute only for his shot to bounce off the post and into the grateful arms of Casillas.

Editor: Yamei Wang
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