On most night the Copa Del Rey, even the final, isn’t that much of an important affair. However when it’s a Clasico match, everything is completely different with much more at stake. Real Madrid came away with a dramatic win thanks to a wonderful slalom from Gareth Bale, scoring the winning goal in the 2-1 victory.
We wrote this afternoon that Barcelona needed this win more badly, but they were the inferior team for most of the match. Physically and mentally, they’re in a bad place at the moment, which helped Real Madrid’s counter attacking football dominate through the first 65 minutes of the match.
Marc Bartra scoring a goal changed the dynamic of the match. Once again Carlo Ancelotti looked like someone who isn’t quite sure of what to do when it’s time to make a change. Real Madrid’ winning goal didn’t come from some brilliant stroke of genius on the manager’s part. It was Bale showing his athleticism, force and speed in a beautiful blend that ended in Pinto’s net.
The first goal by Angel di Maria was also a counter attack Barcelona struggled keeping up with, although it was a much more “team-like” effort when he pulled off the finish in the 10th minute of the match. Barcelona have seen pretty much everything this season end for them in just over seven terrible days, and their Cup final performance, although not abysmal, was parallel with all that’s been wrong with them late in the season and overall during the sunset of their era of dominance.
Most likely this will be Real Madrid’s only title this season, but the feeling over there is different than the one at Barcelona. In the long run, Atletico Madrid cannot compete without landing more funds from TV or any other channel. Real Madrid don’t seem to be a team that’s suddenly stuck behind in terms of tactics, not to mention having a ban enforced on them to limit transfers.
Barcelona? They’ve been fighting against the changing of the guard and a change of style and way of thought for years. However, finishing without a title this season, something that hasn’t happened since 2008, probably means it’s time.