Real Madrid staged a dramatic 3-1 comeback win over 10-man Atletico Madrid to advance to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey. Vinicius Jr was on the scoresheet and exacted revenge over his longtime foes.
Atletico took the lead in impressive style in the 19th minute through former Los Blancos frontman Alvaro Morata. Diego Simeone’s side put together a nice passing move, and the Spaniard finished it off from close range.
There was cause for concern for Real Madrid in the 44th minute when Ferland Mendy was forced off with an injury. Dani Ceballos replaced the French defender as Ancelotti’s issues continued.
Real Madrid searched for an equalizer, and Karim Benzema went close in the 58th minute. The French striker tried an effort from the edge of the box that Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak saved well.
Atletico had the chance to add to their lead in the 73rd minute through Antoine Griezmann’s free-kick. He managed to lift the ball over the Madrid wall, but Los Blancos goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois got a glove on it to tip it over.
Ancelotti’s side grabbed their equalizer in the 79th minute when Rodrygo procured a moment of magic. The Brazilian tricked his way past an onslaught of Atleti defenders. He then guided the ball past Oblak from close range to even the score. The visitors nearly struck a winner in the 85th minute when Griezmann went agonizingly close. However, the Frenchman failed to hit the target from 12 yards.
The tie headed into extra time, and Stefan Savic was given his marching orders in the 99th minute for a second bookable offense. Real Madrid’s extra man paid dividends in the 104th minute when they broke on the attack.
Vinicius Jr miskicked the ball, but it fell to Benzema, who slotted home from close range. Atletico lacked a cutting edge following Savic’s red card and they were made to pay for a third time in the 120+1st minute when Vinicius glided his way towards Oblak’s goal before scoring a deserved goal.
Ancelotti’s side join Barcelona, Osasuna, and Athletic Bilbao in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to a dramatic win for Real Madrid:
Ancelotti deemed Real Madrid‘s Ceballos as an untouchable player despite lack of game time
Ceballos has fallen down the pecking order under Ancelotti this season, featuring 17 times, but only five times in the Italian coach’s starting lineup. His contract with the Galacticos expires at the end of the season. Question marks have been raised over his future at the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, Ancelotti has seemingly made his feelings clear over his desire to keep the Spanish midfielder. He said (via 90min):
“He is an ‘untouchable’ player.”
Ancelotti continued by alluding to the lack of minutes Ceballos has been handed this campaign. He stressed that he is still important for the side:
“It is true that he has not played much, but at this point in the season we need everyone and hopefully he can participate more in these games that are coming up.”
Ceballos joined Madrid from Real Betis in 2017 for €16.5 million. He has made 91 appearances, scoring six goals and providing as many assists.