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16.04.2014 » Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona. Gareth Bale's goal decides the Cup's final!

Gareth Bale winning goal in Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid, in the Copa del Rey final

Real Madrid edged Barcelona this Wednesday night in Valencia, as they beat their arch-rivals by 2-1 in the Copa del Rey's final. The Merengues earned their first trophy of the season thanks to goals from Angel Di María and Gareth Bale, and they've managed to do all that without Cristiano Ronaldo, who is still recovering from an injury.

Carlo Ancelotti earned his first trophy since he arrived to Real Madrid last summer, after defeating Barcelona in the Copa del Rey's final, with a 2-1 result. It's the 19th Spanish King's Cup title won by the club (Barça has 26) and it all started getting shape tonight when Angel Di María broke the deadlock shortly after the 10th minute of the first half. Gerardo Martino's men managed to react though and reached the equalizer deep in the second half, after a good header from Marc Bartra. The game suffered another twist later in the second half, and the Spanish defender would now be left eating dust by Gareth Bale, as the Welshman delivered the victory and the much-wanted silverware to Real Madrid after a spectacular solo run. Cristiano Ronaldo witnessed to everything from the stands, as he keeps recovering from his injury and maintains serious hopes of being fit in time to play in next Wednesday's Champions League clash against Bayern Munich.

Real Madrid 2-1 Barcelona goals and highlights video:

Both teams headed into this game struggling with several key players' injuries, which certainly raised a few doubts in their managers' minds. Real Madrid needed to find the perfect replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo's absence, without disrupting their strong midfield's dynamic. As for Barcelona, they've had their fair share of problems with their defensive line, as both Puyol and Piqué were ruled out for this Wednesday's night "Clasico" final and Bartra was still far from being in his best physical condition. Looking back at what happened in the game, it seems that Ancelotti was the one who managed to cope with those difficulties better than Tato Martino.

Real Madrid drew the first blood early in the game, when Isco got to recover a ball still deep in his side's own half and initiate a speedy counter-attack. The Spaniard held on to the ball a few seconds just before releasing it to Gareth Bale a few meters ahead and the Wales international was quick to read his options when he decided to pass it to Karim Benzema, who was already waiting for it close to the left side line. The French striker didn't waste any time to control the ball and immediately assisted Angel Di María in the center, who had just showed up running from behind at full throttle. The Argentinian had Jordi Alba closing down on him when he stepped into Barcelona's box, but somehow he still managed to send his shot right between the former Valencia's defender legs and got to beat Pinto for the first time on the night. Terrific counter-attack play from the men in white!

Barça reacted as they usually do, by holding to the ball as much as they could and trying to frustrate Real Madrid with a lot of possession. However, that didn't seem to have worked as Tato Martino's men expected and most of the goalscoring chances coming after Di María's goal actually belonged to the Merengues. Barcelona's defense never looked very safe throughout the whole "Clasico" and with Jordi Alba picking up a muscular injury near the half-time, another adjustment at the back wasn't promising to do any wonders to the team's defensive solidity.

Angel Di María reaction after scoring against Barcelona

Nevertheless, it would still be Barcelona scoring the following goal of the game. Xavi Hernández decided to cross the ball into Real Madrid's box after his team had earned a corner-kick around the 68th minute of the match and that unusual approach seems to have surprised the Merengues' man-marking. Pepe lost sight of Bartra as he tried to make contact with the ball and the Spanish defender brilliantly headed it into the back of the net at the same time he was still stepping back, leaving almost no chances for Iker Casillas to reach out to it. The game went back to square one and we still had more than 20 minutes left to be played in the second half, with a possible extra-time following it if neither of the sides were to score again...

The highlight of the night arrived near the 85th minute, when Gareth Bale decided to make a statement about the huge amount of money that was spent to bring him to Madrid, as well as all the skepticism that has been set around him since he landed in Spain last summer. The former Tottenham superstar picked up a Fábio Coentrão pass on the midfield line and then basically took the matter on his own from there... With an impressive run at the dying stages of what had been an intense game until then, Bale left Bartra chasing his own shadow near the left side line and went straight into Pinto's direction. After running more than 50 meters at full speed, he kept his composure and with the tip of his toes he struck the ball between Barça's goalkeeper legs, sending Real Madrid to a very precious and late lead.

Bale's goal was naturally a rough blow in Barcelona's aspirations, but Tato Martino's men still managed to create a great goalscoring opportunity near the end of the game, when Neymar found himself with just Iker Casillas in front of him. However, the Brazil international saw his shot hitting the post and returning straight into the Spanish goalkeeper's hands, as if it all had been the result of some divine intervention. The victory wasn't going to slip away from Real Madrid anymore and with tonight's trophy, the team has now definitely gained an important motivation boost to face the upcoming challenges in both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. Next week, there's already a thrilling Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich for the UCL semi-finals first leg and if it all goes according to plan, Cristiano Ronaldo should be fit just in time to return to the line-up. Let's hope he does recover, because he'll surely be needed...

Real Madrid starting line-up in the Copa del Rey Clasico against Barcelona

Real Madrid line-up vs Barcelona:

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas
Defenders: Fábio Coentrão, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Carvajal
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Modric, Di María
Attackers: Isco, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema.

Match stats provided by www.ronaldo7.net
Real Madrid
vs
Barcelona
2
Goals
1
12
Shots
18
5
Shots on goal
8
7
Corner kicks
5
5
Fouls commited
8
3
Yellow cards
2
0
Red cards
0
35%
Ball possession
65%

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Real Madrid will be against Bayern Munich, for the UEFA Champions League semi-finals 1st leg, on April 23, 2014. You can watch Real Madrid vs Bayern Munchen, Atletico Madrid vs Elche, Chelsea vs Sunderland, and Hull vs Arsenal, all matches provided from our football streams section.

Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich
kick-off time (23-04-2014):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 01:45
Spain
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-3: 14:45
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 13:45
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7 10:45
Beijing (China) | GMT+8: 02:45

Sources: ronaldo7.net / realmadrid.com / skysports.com

Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe holding the Copa del Rey 2014 trophy

Gareth Bale joy after scoring against Barcelona

Cristiano Ronaldo goal celebration while wearing a suit

Marc Bartra, FC Barcelona

Arbeloa, Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo, in the stands

Iker Casillas lifting the Copa del Rey trophy, in the stands tribune

Lionel Messi looking lost on the pitch, in Barcelona vs Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo, Fábio Coentrão and Pepe, taking a photo holding the Copa del Rey cup

Cristiano Ronaldo with a fully customized headphones set, wrapped around his neck

Gareth Bale running more than a Barcelona defender

Gareth Bale's strike in Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo in the audience, watching the El Clasico

Gareth Bale in Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo wearing a suit and a Nike hat

Iker Casillas raising the Spanish King Cup trophy

Cristiano Ronaldo fashion style, in Spain 2014

Cristiano Ronaldo comforting Lionel Messi

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