Player ratings as Los Blancos win Copa del Rey derby


Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior’s extra time goals were enough for Real Madrid fend off a ten man Atletico Madrid in their Copa del Rey quarter-final clash.

Atleti had taken an early lead through Alvaro Morata before goals from Rodrygo in the final 10 minutes took the game to extra time, and then Benzema’s 104th minute goal and Vinicius’ 121st minute goal sealed the win.

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After a midfield battle that lasted a solid 18 minutes, Atletico Madrid found a way into the final third and into the lead thanks to Morata. Some poor defending from Ferland Mendy and Eduardo Camavinga – both of whom were ball-watching – in the left-back area allowed Koke to clip the ball through to an unmarked Nahuel Molina who was able to pass the ball across goal to the feet of Morata, who subsequently tapped home.

Eder Militao really should have drawn his side level 10 minutes later when presented with an opportunity to head the home ball into an empty net from about two yards…which he wasn’t able to take. A vicious set piece delivery from the right courtesy of Toni Kroos gifted Militao this chance, but after Jan Oblak flapped at the ball the Brazilian could only head over the crossbar.

Los Blancos began to push forward with much more conviction in the second half, with a Nacho Fernandez low, drilled, cross into the box almost being bundled in by Karim Benzema. The French forward then forced Oblak into his first save of the game shortly after, seeing his well-struck effort from the edge of the box saved by the Atleti number one.

At the other end of the pitch, Courtois was forced into his first real action of the game (bar picking the ball out of his net) in the 72nd minute by an Antoine Griezmann free-kick. Griezmann struck well, but Courtois was equal to it and palmed the ball over the crossbar.

Real Madrid would finally find a breakthrough in the 79th minute through a moment of magic from Rodrygo. The substitute brilliantly jinked past three players on his way into the penalty area, before side-footing past Oblak. A moment of serious quality from the youngster to say the very least.

Before the final whistle, Griezmann would spurn a glorious chance to win the game for his side. After a few lucky ricochets on the edge of the box the ball spurted into the path of Griezmann in the penalty area. Despite having time to take a touch and pick his spot however, the French forward ballooned his effort well over the crossbar.

The home side would take a real stranglehold on the game in extra time, rarely allowing Atleti any time on the ball outside of their own defensive third. That pressure would lead in Stefan Savic receiving a second yellow card for a rather clumsy sliding tackle on Camavinga.

Moments after going down to ten men, Diego Simeone’s side almost went a goal down too. This time it was Antonio Rudiger who’d fluff his lines, heading wide of the post when completely unmarked in the Atletico box.

In the 102nd minute, Real Madrid would take the lead. The goal would come from Ballon d’Or holder Benzema, who sweep home from the left hand side of the penalty area.

Vincius Junior would then seal the win with a 121st minute goal, side-footing past Oblak after ghosting past a few Atleti players.

GK – Thibaut Courtois – 5/10 – He made one save? Didn’t much to do other than pick the ball out of his net.

RB – Nacho Fernandez – 6/10 – Got up and down well all evening.

CB – Antonio Rudiger – 5/10 – An ok performance. Missed a great chance in extra time.

CB – Eder Militao – 4/10 – Missed an empty net from two yards out.

LB – Ferland Mendy – 3/10 – Nowhere to be seen when Molina popped up with the ball unmarked on the right of Real Madrid’s penalty area in the lead up to the opener. He then went off injured in the 43rd minute.

CM – Luka Modric – 6/10 – Struggled in the first half but wrestled back control of the midfield in the second.

CM – Eduardo Camavinga – 6/10 – Fell asleep in the lead up to the first goal. Looked much better when shifted to left-back.

CM – Toni Kroos – 4/10 – Lacked the legs to compete with Atleti’s midfield.

RW – Federico Valverde – 3/10 – A surprisingly meh performance from Valverde. He didn’t really do anything.

ST – Karim Benzema – 8/10 – Came up big for Real Madrid again with his extra time goal.

LW – Vinicius Junior – 8/10 – Got his goal and was generally good all evening.

SUB – Dani Ceballos – 6/10 – Tidy in possession and added some much-needed legs in the Madrid midfield.

SUB – Rodrygo – 8/10 – Scored one of the best goals you’ll see all season. Brilliant stuff.

SUB – Marco Asensio – 7/10 – Much better than Valverde on the right of Madrid’s attacking three.

SUB – Mario Martin – N/A.

SUB – Alvaro Odriozola – N/A.

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