Two early penalties from Cristiano Ronaldo gave Real Madrid a simple 5-0 aggregate victory over their neighbours in the Copa del Rey semi-final
Xabi Alonso, who has taken more punishment than Gabriel Byrne in Miller’s Crossing tonight, is sent flying one last time by Rodriguez. Moments later, the final whistle goes. Routine fare for Real, who will play Barcelona or Real Sociedad in the final. Thanks for your company; night!
90 min There will be one minute of added time.
87 min Madrid play the Spanish equivalent of olé football for a minute or two before a narked Turan puts Varane up in the air.
85 min Insua scuffs a despicable shot wide of goal from 20 yards.
84 min Sosa flips a pass up in the air towards Koke, receives a headed return pass and spanks a heatseeking half-volley across goal from 20 yards that Casillas does very well to push behind for a corner. That was a wonderful strike.
82 min “With episodes running as short as 10 minutes, homespun production values (camcorder et al) and a uniquely unambitious concept (impressions of old celebrities, basically), Stella Street sounds a dodgy proposition, but it’s actually a peach,” says Phil Podolsky. “Not for everyone though.”
81 min “If you really did host a dating show,” says Matt Dony, “how long would it be before Ryan Dunne turned up on it?”
Don’t awaken the beast.
80 min Miranda is booked for a flailing arm/elbow into the phizog of Jese. He could have been sent off for that, certainly in the current climate.
77 min Today’s quiz question: would you cross this man?
75 min Rodriguez’s shot is deflected wide for an Atletico corner, from which Suarez plants a simple headed chance wide of the near post from eight yards. He should have scored. Moments later, Ronaldo leaves the field to warm cheers from all four sides of the ground; he’s replaced by Jese. Who you tryin’ to get crazy with, Jese, etc and so forth.
73 min Casemiro’s angled cross from the right is pulled down expertly by Ronaldo, beyond the far post, and as the ball bounces up he improvises a flicked shot from three yards that hits the keeper Aranzububia on the shoulder.
70 min Nothing much is happening. Atletico are simmering – and playing with admirable endeavour given the circumstances – so don’t rule out some aggravation in the last 20 minutes.
68 min “Rob,” says Peter McLeod. “What with the match kind of in the doldrums (possible outbreaks of mass disgruntlement on the pitch notwithstanding), this seems a good time to ask: given that you’re a lover and enthusiastic quoter of such transcendent cultural gems as The Office, Grosse Pointe Blank and Twin Peaks, you seem to be the most-qualified person around to tell me: what should I watch or read or experience next? NB there are bonus points for answering “imagine a cross between Telly Addicts and Noel’s House Party...”
You’ve imagined Willy Nilly, a dating show devised and hosted by Rob Smyth. Well, now I’m of advancing years I don’t really know about these things. True Detective looks pretty dope, mind; it starts in a couple of weeks on Sky Atlantic. If you haven’t seen it I’d also recommend Oz, an almost insufferably jaunty HBO prison show from the late 1990s.
Any other suggestions? I could use some quality boxset time.
67 min Another Real substitution: Casemiro on, Modric off.
66 min Here’s Seamus Devlin. “One can only assume that Bale and Ronaldo not only go to the same barber shop, they take a picture of each other.”
64 min Bale’s wobbling, dipping free-kick from 25 yards out is palmed round relatively comfortably by Aranzubia, sprawling to his left.
61 min Bad news for fight fans: Garcia has been replaced by Arda Turan. It’s probably a good move, as he was risking a red card at some stage.
60 min Atletico win a foul. Alonso wanders over towards the ball. Garcia motions to kick the ball and follows through, lightly scraping his studs up the side of Alonso’s leg. Alonso hobbles away from the ball and Garcia has the brass neck to motion that Alonso should be booked for not retreating 10 yards! Garcia’s noggin has gone. Actually, it went after about two minutes. The weirdest thing is that he only really wanted to pick a fight with Alonso; goodness knows why.
58 min Gareth Bale has been quiet tonight, almost anonymous in truth, although he did win the second penalty.
55 min Real are having plenty of the ball. Atletico have no choice but to take their medicine, and they are not taking it too well.
53 min Isco, eight yards out, pulls down Arbeloa’s highish cross superbly with a telescopic right leg, but then he tries to get too cute instead of shooting and is bumped off the ball by Miranda.
52 min The game has calmed down a little. Garcia has even stopped looking for trouble, although it feels like a temporary peace.
51 min “In Germany it’s the opposite,” says John T. “The guy who gets fouled does NOT take the penalty. I remember watching a game a few years ago involving Bayern and an argument occurring on the field after the player who was fouled (a non-German, I think – Robben? Sounds like something he would do) lined up to take the penalty. Shoving amongst teammates and all that. A quick Internets search reveals an actual paper on the subject.”
49 min Ronaldo goes on a storming run down the left and is jeered all the way. He’s receiving some impassioned abuse from some hairy fool in the crowd; it’s hilarious.
46 min We’re off again. There have been three half-time substitutions, one for Real, two to Atletico. Real have brought on Nacho for Ramos (who was on a yellow card). Atletico have replaced the presumably injured Manquillo with Juanfran, while Adrian is on for Diego.
“Is that Comic Sans that Real Madrid use for the players’ names on their shirts? I know the best teams are meant to be easily imagined as a set of cartoon characters but this seems a little presumptuous.”
Ronaldo was hit flush on the head by a lighter as he left the field. The polis are involved. That’s all we know. He was being treated but is in the dressing-room now.
“The Arsenal penalty thing,” says Kergguz. “It was Bergkamp – he had a superstition that he wouldn’t take the penalty if he’d drawn the foul. Pretty sure it stemmed from his miss in the 1999 Fa Cup semi-final vs United. The superstition then permeated through the team and it became an ‘Arsenal’ thing for a while.”
It definitely wasn’t that game – that was Parlour who was fouled – though you well be right that it was him wot started it.
Ronaldo checks on the health of Manquillo as they leave the field. There was nothing wrong with his challenge. They both went up for the ball; Ronaldo got there first and Manquillo bounced off him. At the same time as Ronaldo checks on Manquillo, Garcia yet again tries to pick a fight with Alonso. This is hilarious and a little bizarre. Did Alonso steal Garcia’s newly purchased operating system or something?
45 min Manquillo is on his feet now. While we wait, there’s a replay of Raul Garcia shoving Alonso’s head off the ball. Garcia has been trying to wind up the Madrid players, particularly Alonso, all game. It’s unbecoming, indefensible, unpleasant - and very, very funny.
44 min Now Ronaldo is booked. He jumped for the ball with Manquillo, who then feel sickeningly on his head. I’m not sure Ronaldo didn’t much wrong, if anything, but there’s concern for Manquillo.
42 min Manquillo, Atletico’s confident teenage right-back, makes good progress on the right and is hacked down absurdly by Arbeloa, who then has the brass neck to dispute his yellow card. That was a computer-game foul from Arbeloa.
41 min After a scramble in the box, Ronaldo can’t get on top of a bouncing ball and slices it well wide of the far post from 10 yards. He’s pretty annoyed, punching the air in frustration.
40 min Suarez is penalised for scissoring Ronaldo. The crowd jeer. Diego Simeone hasn’t just created a team of bastards – he’s created a whole crowd of them. It’s all rather impressive.
38 min Atletico are having their best spell, although these things are relative. Rodriguez, found on the left of the box, thrashes an ambitious shot over the bar from a narrow angle. There were, it is probably fair to suggest, better options available to him.
37 min “I think it was an Arsenal thing, rather than a Thierry Henry thing (re: 25 min),” says Matt Dony. “The guy who won the penalty didn’t take it. I’m not too sure on the reasoning, but no doubt it involved some kind of sanctimonious high ground. Man, I dislike Wenger.”
Thank goodness that team existed before football hipsters were born. Can you imagine.
36 min Illarramendi is booked for a cynical pull on Suarez. There’s going to be a red card in this game.
35 min Sosa plays a fine clipped pass over the top from the right towards Garcia. Varane comes across to hoof the bouncing ball and clatter Garcia in the same movement.
32 min Sosa’s excellent run down the right ends with a cross towards the offside Rodriguez at the far post. He falls over after a challenge from Carvajal, prompting a few shouts for a penalty, but the flag had already gone up.
29 min Koke splatters a bouncing ball high over the bar from 25 yards.
27 min Real play keepball for around 90 seconds, prompting whistles of impotent rage from the home fans.
25 min “Wouldn’t Bale normally be expected to take the penalty since he drew the foul?” asks Mark Wainwright.
No. Generally the man you regard as your best penalty taker takes the penalties, unless you are England at Italia 90. Or Thierry Henry: didn’t he have a thing for a while where he didn’t like to take the penalties if he was the man who had been fouled?
23 min “Oh well, dead rubbers are conducive to MBM gold, no?” says Phil Podolsky. “Sadly, I have nothing to say. True to the metier of an internet journalist, I do, however, have a gif of a kitten.”
22 min There’s a mood around the ground, and it’s not a mood of innocence. Atletico are not going to go quietly, are they.
21 min “Won’t you say that there are parallels between Atletico and Liverpool’s campaigns this season?” says Priyansh. “(Maybe, I’m trying a little too hard). But both sides suffer from a lack of depth in personnel and yet, have surprised everyone. It seems the rails may finally come off Atletico’s season now. Liverpool, though, are holding on well enough. Perhaps, participation in an European competition is causing the divergence.”
That has certainly been a huge help for Liverpool, as excellent as they have been.
20 min Raul Garcia is down holding his face after some business with Ramos. I’m not sure Ramos did anything. Garcia has been looking for trouble; a couple of minutes ago he tried to engage Xabi Alonso in some off-the-ball liveliness.
19 min Simeone out!
Another excellent penalty from Ronaldo. He went to the same side, the keeper’s right. This was slightly slower – these things are relative – but even more precise, driven all along the floor and into the side netting. Real Madrid lead 5-0 on aggregate
And it’s another clear penalty. Bale plays the ball down the line to Isco, who returns it with a fine backheel. Bale pushes the ball into the area and is brought down by a stunningly ill-conceived sliding tackle from Insua. It was right on the line of the area but I’m pretty sure it was inside.
14 min Incidentally, please press F5 occasionally, especially if you want full goal descriptions, as our auto-refresh is not working properly.
12 min A loose ball breaks to Raul Garcia in the D, and he whips a wonderful shot off the inside of the right post with the diving Casillas barely in the same postal district.
11 min Ronaldo, leaping above Manquillo, can’t quite get enough on a far-post header that drifts a few yards wide. He may feel he should have scored, although he was stretching a bit.
10 min What do Atletico do now? They have hardly touched the ball. This tie is over, yet the game feels alive for the reasons we mentioned before. There is a concern that, if they lose tonight and certainly if they are thrashed, their wonderful season could start to unravel.
Ronaldo booms a vicious penalty into the bottom-left corner. He didn’t even bother to hide which side he was going, so unstoppable did he plan the penalty to be. Real lead by four, and have the away goal too, so Atletico need five. It’s not going to happen, and therefore I might as well head home. Thanks for your emails; night.
Well there goes the miracle. Ronaldo scoots into the box in an inside-left position and is tripped by a clumsy and inept challenge from behind by Manquillo. A clear penalty, even if the home crowd don’t entirely concur with such a perception.
5 min It’s all Real just now, although they are playing exclusively in front of Atletico.
4 min Alonso’s inswinging free-kick from a narrow position on the right is met by the head of Bale, 15 yards out, and his flick across goal drifts not far wide of the far post.
2 min Atletico have only three of their best side playing. Real have started in the manner of the home side, keeping the ball at the back.
1 min We’re off. Diego Simeone is, as usual, is copying the Martin Blank look of black shirt and black tie. Though Martin Blank didn’t have a menacing slickback as well.
A referee wore a mic ... with hilarious consequences.
(NB: Clip contains lively language.)
Goals: Atletico 2-1 Real.
Red cards: Atletico 1-1 Real.
Epiphanies: Atletico 1-0 Real.
You can get the same odds on Steve Clarke and Diego Simeone becoming the next Manchester United manager. How does that work? Once David Moyes is forced out by entitled fools, Simeone and Jurgen Klopp should be top of United’s list. Just imagine this man as United manager, comically extracting foam from the mouths of ABUs.
The European Cup semi-final of 1980.
First leg: Real Madrid 2-0 Hamburg.
Second leg: Hamburg 5-1 Real Madrid.
Atletico Madrid (4-2-3-1): Aranzubia; Manquillo, Alderweireld, Miranda, Insua; Koke, Suarez; Sosa, Diego, Rodriguez; Garcia.
Subs: Bono, Juanfran, Godin, Gabi, Arda, Adrian, Ruben Mesa.
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Casillas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Arbeloa; Illarramendi, Alonso, Modric; Bale, Isco, Ronaldo.
Subs: Diego Lopez, Pepe, Benzema, Casemiro, Nacho, Jese, Di Maria.
Good evening. El Derbi madrileño – or the Madrid derby, as normal British people call it – had such a powerful kiss of life in May that even this apparently dead rubber is full of oxygen. Atletico are 3-0 down and without a number of key players, yet their pre-match rhetoric has been as stirring and convincing as it’s possible to be in face of almost certain defeat. There is a powerful sense that, even if they can’t win this semi-final, they will go down about as quietly as Tony Montana.
The Madrid derby became a relative formality between 1999 and 2013, when Real went 26 games without defeat, but Atletico’s victory at the Bernabeu in the Copa del Rey final in May – when both Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho were sent off – has catalysed what might become a golden age of the Madrid derby.
Atletico won at the Bernabeu in the league in September, and were beaten in an admirably nasty first leg on the same ground last week. “We’re going to fight till our last breath to try and turn that result around,” said the Atletico president Enrique Cerezo. Given that his side is managed by Diego Simeone, he might not be using artistic licence there.
Even if Atletico go out, as is highly likely, they could do with a victory and/or a rousing performance to arrest the slide that continued with this weekend’s surprise defeat to Almeria. These days in elite European football two defeats in a row is a drama, three a crisis. Yet Atletico still have a great chance of pulling off what would be, in the context of football’s increasing, reprehensible inequality, one of the great title victories of modern times.
The cups and league are not separate entities – Mark Hughes once scored a title-winning goal in an FA Cup semi-final – and Atletico will be keen to renew their friendship with our old friend Mo Mentum. More important still, they will want to put the hurt on Madrid. And maybe not just in the Seinfeld sense.
Off it kicks at 8pm English time.