Real Madrid were booted out of the Copa del Rey as Barcelona handed them a 3-0 loss in the semi-final second leg at Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Real Madrid were the dominant side from the get-go, with Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema linking up well and creating the bulk of the chances. In fact, the Brazilian spurned as many as four chances in the first 45 minutes of the game, while Benzema was thwarted by Marc-Andre ter Stegen from point blank range.
Barcelona, on the other hand, struggled to conjure up goalscoring opportunities, with Sergio Ramos & co. keeping a check on the trio of Ousmane Dembele, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. In the end, the first half ended goalless, with Real holding the slimmest of advantages in the tie. But, that advantage soon disappeared after the break.
Five minutes into the second half, Barcelona went on to grab the lead with their first opening of the game as Suarez produced a fine first-time finish from Dembele’s cut-back. Real Madrid though, did not let up, continuing to dominate the proceedings, but without the finishing touches to find their way back in the tie.
The result was then put beyond any doubt in the 69th minute as Raphael Varane turned the ball into his own net from a low cross by Dembele. Four minutes later, the win was rounded out as Suarez converted from the spot with a cheeky Panenka penalty after being brought down by Casemiro.
The win meant Barcelona clinched the tie 4-1 on aggregate, while Real Madrid failed to make it to the final once again, having last made it through in 2014. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Santiago Solari’s men following their frustrating loss on Wednesday.
Keylor Navas: 6/10
Navas did not have anything to do in the first half, with Barcelona failing to take even one shot at goal. In the second half, the visitors did threaten, but Navas was unable to do anything to stop any of the three goals that Real Madrid conceded. Can hardly be faulted for the capitulation.
Dani Carvajal: 5/10
A game to forget for Carvajal, who was run ragged by Ousmane Dembele, especially in the second half, when he did not have any reply to the Frenchman’s blistering runs. Dembele’s presence meant Carvajal did not bombard forward as frequently as he usually does, but when he did, his end product left a lot to be desired.
Raphael Varane: 6/10
Varane was a major reason why Barcelona were kept quiet in the first half, with the Frenchman keeping a check on Luis Suarez’s influence while also intercepting a dangerous ball from Dembele.
But, it all went downhill in the second half as Varane first left Suarez open for the first goal before scoring the own goal that effectively ended his side’s hopes of reaching the Copa del Rey final. Games against Barcelona have been far from memorable for the 2018 World Cup winner.
Sergio Ramos: 6/10
Like Varane, Ramos was commanding in the first half, not giving the Barcelona attack an inch. But, when Real Madrid needed him to keep the backline disciplined, the Spaniard failed to step up, with the defence being all over the place for each of the three goals. Lucky to not have conceded a penalty for a challenge on Ivan Rakitic.
Sergio Reguilon: 7/10
The rest of the Real Madrid back four might have left a lot to be desired, but Reguilon was impressive once again, in what was his first appearance in an El Clasico. Defended well for the most part, with much of Barcelona’s moves in the second half coming from the left flank, although he did fail to mark Dembele in the buildup to Varane’s own goal.
Going forward, Reguilon looked very dangerous, creating a chance at the end of a scintillating driving run before Marc-Andre ter Stegen stopped him from scoring from a headed effort. Another step in the right direction by the youngster.
Luka Modric: 6/10
Like many of his teammates, it was a game of two halves for Modric, who helped dominate the proceedings in the first 45 minutes by pulling the strings effortlessly. But, compatriot Ivan Rakitic won their personal duel in the second half, with the Ballon d’Or winner failing to create a meaningful opening for his side.
Casemiro had his part to play in Real Madrid’s constant control during the first half, producing a combative showing to take down opposition players and cut down the threat. But, that nature came back to haunt him in the second half, as he ended up conceding the penalty that Suarez scored from.
Toni Kroos: 7/10
In contrast to Modric, Kroos was on top of his game all throughout, creating openings in both halves. Even contributed defensively, with a clutch tackle on Lionel Messi nipping a counter-attacking move in the bud. Could have grabbed an assist or two, if not for poor finishing by Casemiro and Karim Benzema.
Lucas Vazquez: 6/10
Played a huge role in neutralising the threat of Jordi Alba, who did not create any impact whatsoever in the final third on the night. But, he produced very little of note himself, when Real Madrid were in possession. Taken off for Gareth Bale, but things did not improve much from the substitution either.
Karim Benzema: 6/10
Benzema was seemingly in a menacing mood pretty much from the get-go, linking up well with Vinicius Junior, who created a couple of openings for him. But, it wasn’t to be for the Frenchman on the night, as he was denied by a sharp save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen before nodding an effort over the bar. A frustrating evening.
Vinicius Junior: 7/10
As has been the case for much of the recent weeks, Vinicius Junior was the brightest spark for Real Madrid. His blistering runs had Nelson Semedo backpedaling all night, with the Portuguese having very little opportunities to bombard forward himself.
Vinícius Júnior (18) vs FC Barcelona:
Most shots • 6
Most dribbles completed • 5
Joint-most key passes • 3
Despite the result and the fact that only one of his shots was on target, the signs are promising. He’s doing it against big clubs, albeit without the rewards just yet. pic.twitter.com/cvhXd6jSTN
— Scouted Football (@ScoutedFtbl) February 27, 2019
But, for all his creativity (the Brazilian provided three key passes on Wednesday), Vinicius disappointed with his finishing abilities, missing four clear cut chances to give his side the lead. Might have scored the winner on another day.
Gareth Bale: 5/10
On for Lucas Vazquez, Bale was looked upon to restore parity for his side, but could not provide that moment of brilliance that he is capable of. The one chance that did come his way was left squandered, as he shot woefully wide. Just not grabbing his opportunities.
Federico Valverde: N/A
Valverde was introduced in place of Casemiro late on, but he did not have much time to make an impact.
Marco Asensio: N/A
Came on with ten minutes left on the clock. Took two shots on goal, but could not pull one back for his side.