Copa del Rey Final: Mourinho and Ronaldo Sent Off as Miranda Secures an Extra Time Winner.

Mourinho Sent Of and Predictably, Sent Packing.
Mourinho Sent Of and Predictably, Sent Packing.

Real Madrid were without Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho as Atletico Madrid defeated their regional rivals for the first time in 14 years to claim the Copa del Rey at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, after extra time.

Ronaldo, after lifting to connect with a header from a Mesut Ozil’s corner, gave the Los Blancos the lead in the 14th minute, but Diego Costa leveled 10 minutes before half time for Atletico. However, Miranda’a header in the 99th minute of extra time won it for Atletico and ended what is predictably Mourinho’s final season at the Bernabeu, trophyless.

Ronaldo Put Real Ahead in the 14th Minute.
Ronaldo Put Real Ahead in the 14th Minute.

It was a match that every effort from Real proved abortive as the Los Blancos hit the woodwork three times; two of them in the heated second half, while Juanfran blocked a shot from Ozil on the line to force extra time.

Atletico goaltender Thibaut Courtois made two superb saves in the extra time to keep his side in front.

With Mourinho having been sent from the dugout during normal time, Real’s frustration knew no bound as Ronaldo saw red in the 114th minute for kicking Atletico captain Gabi in the face- who was himself dismissed in the frantic final minutes for a second bookable offence.

Diego Simeone chose his usual starting eleven, while Mourinho’s was far from expected as he chose Raul Albiol ahead of Pepe, who he has not picked since the defender criticised him publicly. Oddly, it was an error from Albiol that gave Atletico the equaliser.

The match had a cagey start but the Los Blancos took the lead after 14 minutes when Ronaldo leapt above a hopeless Diego Godin to head the ball into the net from a Ozil corner.

The Los Rojiblancos struggled to penetrate Real, who forced their opponents into long- range efforts and set pieces.

When Atletico finally did create a clear opportunity, they equalised.

The Equaliser.
The Equaliser.

Falcao dispossessed Albiol on the halfway line, then mustered strength and resilience to hold the ball up before releasing to Costa, who raced towards goal and shot past Lopez, whose hand came in contact with the ball but couldn’t prevent it from going into his net off the post.

Madrid would have gone ahead once again, though, with an Ozil shot from outside the area that came off the inside of the post, before half time.

Early in the second half, it took the concentration of goalkeeper Courtois to stop an Ozil free- kick from creeping into the net, and got a fingertip to it to send it out for a corner.

At the other end, Filipe Luis had two scoring chances, a scuffed effort and then a powerful volley that both went just a few feet wide of the near post.

A minute later, Ronaldo got down to the byline to pull back to Benzema in the six- yard box, but the France striker’s deflected shot came off the woodwork back out to Ozil, whose shot was blocked on the line by Juanfran.

Not long after, Ronaldo’s low free- kick came off the post, the third time the woodwork had denied the Los Blancos a rare scoring chance.

Midway through the second- half, Atletico won a succession of fouls in the middle of the pitch, to the dismay of Mourinho who after his protest was sent out of the sideline, bringing an ugly end to what is likely to be his last finals in charge at Real Madrid.

Diego Costa got behind the Madrid’s defence five minutes into extra- time, but could only shoot straight at Lopez.

The Los Rojiblancos took the lead moments later, when Miranda got up to head in a cross from Koke, much to the delight of Diego Simeone.

After getting a goal ahead of Real, it took the steadiness of Atletico Belgian goalkeeper Courtois to deny, first, substitute Gonzalo Higuain, then leaping across the face of goal to tip away a point-blank shot from Ozil.

Madrid woes got far worse when Ronaldo got his matching orders for lashing out at Gabi, who though, must have exaggerated the impact of the challenge.

Copa del Rey Winners.
Copa del Rey Winners.

However, Atletico Madrid stood firm in the final minute of the match to record their first victory over regional rivals in the 21st century, and this time with the Copa del Rey trophy to keep.

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