10 November 2010
Fernando Porrero / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Jose Mourinho wanted the Spanish players on his team to regard the Copa del Rey as a title of special significance and the squad responded. Spaniard and academy player Granero scored a spectacular opener on the 3-minute mark that thrilled the crowd. The midfielder’s subtle curved shot from outside the box was a work of beauty that filled the stands with enthusiasm.
Unfortunately, referee Paradas Romero took centre stage many a time with his harsh performance against the Whites (4 bookings in the first 37 minutes). He even made Spanish football history by becoming the first to show Jose Mourinho a surprising red card in the 39th minute.
The team was angered by this and used their emotions to score a second strike through Higuain; Murcia protested Sergio Ramos was offside to no avail.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso came on for Canales and Higuain, respectively, at the start of the second half. Real Madrid wanted more goals and Murcia did what they could to defend themselves. Benzema nearly scored the third goal on the 60-minute mark, but the ball hit the crossbar. Di Maria came on for Pedro Leon with 20 minutes left in the game and immediately served a spectacular curved assist on the goal-line for Ronaldo to score the third.
The referee still wanted the spotlight and decided to show Arbeloa his second booking of the evening (79’) and awarded Murcia a penalty following a handball by Alonso. The visitors scored, but made the mistake of tackling Di Maria inside their box in the effort that followed. Benzema took the penalty and netted his side’s fourth strike (84’). Xabi Alonso sealed the game with a terrific free-kick goal moments later.
Mission accomplished: Real Madrid reached the Last 16 in the Copa del Rey, another championship in which they remain undefeated.
|Di María 71'|
|Xabi Alonso 47'||Goal 90'|
|Cristiano Ronaldo 47'||Goal 76'|