Madrid defeats Barcelona to reach Copa final; Benzema scores hat tricktext_fields
Barcelona: Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 4-0 at Camp Nou on Wednesday to advance 4-1 overall and to the Copa del Rey championship thanks to a hat-trick from Karim Benzema.
Vinicius Junior scored the game's first goal just before halftime as Carlo Ancelotti's team made an incredible recovery from a one-goal deficit in the semi final first leg. Benzema added a second-half hat trick.
Benzema humiliated Barcelona on a difficult night for coach Xavi Hernandez in front of nearly 95,000 furious supporters after scoring three goals against Real Valladolid at the weekend in La Liga, AFP reported.
Los Blancos won this match to advance to the Copa final for the first time since 2014, where they will play Osasuna. Los Blancos currently trail their arch-rivals by 12 points in La Liga and were defeated by Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final in January.
On a tense night in Barcelona, Madrid defeated the record-setting 31-time Cup champions with a powerful display, ending a demoralising streak of three straight Clasico losses.
Eder Militao's own goal cost Ancelotti's side a 1-0 defeat in the first leg. In La Liga against Barcelona in March, the Catalans scored a last-minute goal to win the game.
“It was important to win, then the margin of victory is another satisfaction, but the important thing was to win,” Madrid midfielder Fede Valverde told RTVE.
“We know what Karim gives us, for the goals he scores he’s a reference point for all of us, he always wants more.”
Sergi Roberto of Barcelona said Vinicius' goal just before halftime was a big blow.
“Their goal at the end of the first half killed us, we didn’t deserve to let in that goal, I think we were better in the first half,” the midfielder told RTVE.
“We created more chances that we didn’t put away, and that goal hurt our morale. In the second half, they scored the second and we couldn’t play our game.”
The Catalan said the defeat would not damage Barcelona’s title bid in the final weeks of the season.
“Now we have a considerable points distance, it will not affect us, we have to continue and go for the league,” he added
It finally caught up to Xavi because he was missing the injured quartet of Ousmane Dembele, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, and Andreas Christensen.
Both teams were eager to advance to the final and were fighting tooth and nail to avoid being eliminated by the opposing team as the game got underway.
As tempers flared, Barca coach Xavi was booked for objecting to a foul; Gavi and Vinicius were also given yellow cards for scrapping.
Lionel Messi's name was being chanted by thousands of Barcelona supporters in the 10th minute despite rumours he might leave Paris Saint-Germain, and they would have adored some of the Argentine's previous performances.
At the conclusion of the first half, Los Blancos took the lead thanks to their skill on the counterattack.
Robert Lewandowski was denied by a great save from Thibaut Courtois, and exactly 20 seconds afterwards Vinicius scored at the other end.
Despite Jules Kounde's best effort to clear the goal line, Rodrygo cut the ball back to the forward, who managed to force a shot home. Benzema was there to make sure, but Vinicius's attempt had already gone too far.
However, after Luka Modric effortlessly skipped past Sergio Roberston, the French forward was able to seize the opportunity and finish lethally from the side of the box in an ocean of space.
Before the hour mark, Benzema scored his second goal from the penalty spot, sending Marc-Andre ter Stegen the wrong way after Kessie carelessly tripped Vinicius.
Barcelona tried to mount a recovery with the help of Ansu Fati, but they were unsuccessful.
One-way traffic ensued as Ter Stegen stopped Marco Asensio and Benzema finished off his hat trick after a beautiful dribble and pass from Vinicius.
Madrid, who have won the cup 19 times, will face Osasuna, who have never done so. Osasuna qualified for their second final by defeating Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday.