22 December 2010
Nine minutes were all Real Madrid needed on Wednesday night to take care of business and leave the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinal tie against Levante all but in the bag. Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo both notched hat-tricks as the Whites earned their 13th win in 13 attempts at the Santiago Bernabeu this season.
Real Madrid wanted to strike soon and Mourinho lined up the best eleven possible in order to do so. Five minutes in, Benzema managed to steal the ball heading into the final third of the pitch and after several step-overs to lose his markers the Frechman found the back of Munua’s net with a powerful strike. With Levante still in a state of shock, Cristiano Ronaldo forced a turnover of his own, broke into the box and found Ozil, who put Real in control after several nice moves.
Down but not out, Levante went on the offensive only to see the strategy backfire. Cerra misfired on a clearance on 31’ and the ball landed perfectly in front of Benzema to fire home and put Real up 3-0. The visitors fell apart, and one minute before halftime, Benzema capitalized on another defender’s mistake, made his way into the box and found Cristiano wide open to push the ball into the net.
The show continued in the second half much to the delight of the near 65,000 fans on hand. Twenty-four minutes had ticked off the clock when Di Maria gently floated the ball into the box for Benzema to strike home and notch his hat-trick. As the crowd celebrated, Di Maria got hold of another ball, advanced on goal and assisted Cristiano, who put the sixth on the board. Two minutes later, Benzema found Cristiano Ronaldo with a deep pass and the Portuguese international beat Munua for a hat-trick of his own and an historic mark in the Bernabeu.
Diarra, Pedro Leon and Morata all came off the bench in hopes of getting in on the action, while all Levante wanted was the sound of the final whistle. Morata nearly pushed the lead to eight, but the ball sailed over the crossbar. In the final minute of regulation, Pedro Leon followed up on an excellent play by the youth teamer to score the eighth of the night and to bring 2010 to a close in stunning fashion. Real Madrid return to action in the new year against Getafe.
|Mahamadou Diarra 76'|
|Pedro León 76'||Goal 91'|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Goal 45' 73' 75'|
|Benzema||Goal 6' 32' 70'|
|Rubén Suárez 59'|