12 December 2012
Real Madrid and Celta Vigo will play for a spot in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey on 9th January at the Santiago Bernabéu. The tie will be decided in the Whites’ fortress following the match at Balaídos, which the home team won 2-1 thanks to goals from Bermejo and Bustos, and to which Cristiano Ronaldo replied in the 86th minute. In a match without a clearly dominant team, all of the goals came in the second half, following a first 45 minutes in which Celta did not have a shot on goal.
Real Madrid went on to the field at Balaídos with Adán, Varane, Carvalho, Essien, Modric and Di María as the changes to the starting line-up. The Argentine was the player who had the first chance in the 1st minute with a long range shot following a nice piece of team play on the edge of the area. Celta tried to play the ball out of defence and Real Madrid pressed forward to try to win the ball. Essien had the second chance to try to surprise Sergio from distance after he himself stole the ball. Both teams looked to dominate the match but did not manage to impose themselves on their opponents.
Cristiano Ronaldo was amongst the most involved of Mourinho’s team in the first half. A good move from the Portuguese on the right in the 15th minute and a subsequent cross to the centre of the area was narrowly missed by Modric. Celta, on the counter attack, had their first opportunity with an Aspas cross from the left which Park put wide of the far post. On the half hour mark the Real Madrid coach had to bring on Callejón for Benzema (32') because of an injury to the Frenchman, and shortly after coming on the academy player shot against the post but it would not have counted as it was given as offside.
The home team pushed their lines forward in the closing stages of the first half and the connection between Aspas and Park produced chances for Celta. In the 38th minute Aspas found the Korean in the area but he failed to control the ball and in 40th minute a cross from Galician from the right was put wide by Park at the far post. Celta had three consecutive corners immediately before the end of the half.
Özil came on for Di María after the break, but the match continued in the same vein that the first half had finished with Vigo set up with their lines very high up the field and they won two corners in the opening two minutes. Ronaldo kept trying to create chances for his team, with long balls into the box but could not find anyone to put them away. A ball won in midfield by the home team in the 56th minute produced the match’s first goal. Krohn-Dehli crossed from the left which went through the middle of the area before Mario Bermejo put a low shot past Adán at the far post.
Mourinho reacted by bringing on Kaká for Essien in the 65th minute. With the three changes already made, Varane received a knock and ended up playing at centre forward. Özil played between the lines and that is how the Whites went looking for the reply. Modric could have scored following an Alonso ball into the box, but Sergio made a good stop down low. Celta were looking to hit Real Madrid on the break and following an Augusto long range shot in the 72nd which was stopped by Adán the same player went on to score the second goal in the 78th minute. Celta put pressure on a Whites throw-in in their own half and the ball fell to Bustos, who made it 2-0 with a shot from outside of the box which the Real Madrid goalkeeper could not have done anything about.
Ronaldo, Real Madrid’s best player, kept trying to create chances. In the 81st minute he shot from outside the box but it was saved by the ‘keeper and a minute later one of his crosses from the right went straight into Sergio’s hands. The third chance went passed him in the 86th minute following a great looping pass from Xabi Alonso into space which he finished with quality with his left foot. Alonso looked for Cristiano again in the 88th minute but he was given offside when he didn’t look to be and in the 91st minute Modric tried his luck from outside the area but Sergio pushed the ball wide for a corner.