Thursday, June 13, 2024

Barcelona 0-4 Real Madrid: What Were The Main Talking Points As Karim Benzema Fires Los Blancos To The Copa Del Rey Final?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial 6 Apr 2023

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Putting in what was a famous display at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night, Real Madrid booked their spot in the final of this season’s Copa del Rey thanks to a stunning 4-0 romp against Barcelona.

While Los Blancos might have made the trip to Catalonia in midweek chasing a 1-0 deficit following their narrow first-leg defeat on March 2nd, Carlo Ancelotti’s side produced what was arguably a season-best display.

Although Brazilian ace Vinicius Junior might have opened the scoring just seconds before heading into the half-time break, it was the 22-year-old’s strike partner who will certainly steal all of the headlines here.

Bagging his second hat-trick in just the space of a few days, Karim Benzema once again proved to be Madrid’s hero as he fired the defending European champions to a famous 4-0 romp against their arch-rivals.

On a night when Barcelona knew that they were sat in pole position to secure a domestic silverware sweep, Xavi’s side certainly came crashing back down to earth in what was a dreadful second-half collapse.

Suffering their first domestic defeat at the Nou Camp so far this season, Barca looked like a shadow of the squad that have continued to make real La Liga history in 2023.

In what will long be remembered as a real Copa del Rey classic, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Wednesday’s El Classico.

Los Blancos claim a crucial psychological boost

Heading into the international break with a last-gasp 2-1 loss at the Nou Camp and coming under a huge amount of scrutiny, Real Madrid know that it will take a minor miracle if they are to defend their domestic crown this season.

Still sat 12 points adrift of their historic rivals and with the majority of their attention now focused on Champions League success, Ancelotti’s side would have been expecting another heavyweight struggle against the runaway leaders.

However, while Madrid might have lost five of their previous six meetings against Barca prior to Wednesday’s second-leg, there is no doubt that Ancelotti would have received a huge psychological boost.

With growing speculation over the past few weeks that the one-time Everton boss could be on his way out of the Bernabeu at the end of the season, Los Blancos were certainly back to their rampant best here.

Mounting a famous second-leg comeback outside of the capital and eventually breezing their way to next month’s final in Sevilla, Madrid should be smelling the chance to end their Copa del Rey drought.

Failing to get their hands on the Copa del Rey trophy since way back in 2015, Ancelotti’s men will be tipped as a landslide pick when they meet Osasuna on April 6th at the Estadio de La Cartuja.

Barcelona miss out on the chance to clinch a domestic sweep

Shocking many as they claimed a first-leg 1-0 victory when they traveled to the Spanish capital on March 2nd, it appeared that Xavi’s young squad were sat in pole position to make another Copa del Rey marker on Wednesday night.

Although the midweek hosts might have come under real scrutiny last year as they suffered yet another European nightmare, Barca have only continued on a remarkable domestic romp this season.

Marking their return from the international break with a routine 4-0 victory away at Elche, Xavi had made it clear that he was dreaming of a domestic silverware sweep in 2023.

However, while Barcelona might still find themselves holding a staggering 12-point buffer at the top of the La Liga table, Wednesday’s infamous defeat at the Nou Camp will be a bitter pill to swallow.

Lifting this year’s Super Cup back in January as they cruised their way to a 3-0 romp against Los Blancos in the Middle East, Xavi will be hugely frustrated by a dreadful second-half display here.

Putting in what will undoubtedly be remembered as a season-worst display on Wednesday night, fans around Catalonia will be calling on their side to prove that their Copa del Rey collapse was nothing more than a minor blip.

Benzema at his brilliant best

While Benzema might have suffered real World Cup frustration over the winter, the reigning Ballon d’Or winner has only continued on another remarkable free-scoring run since opening 2023.

Although Los Blancos might have all but accepted that their La Liga crown will be heading to Catalonia this season, the 35-year-old has certainly underlined why he remains among Europe’s elite striking superstars.

Putting in a famous second-half romp at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night and eventually heading back to the Spanish capital with yet another hat-trick to his name, Benzema has now notched a trio of strikes in back-to-back appearances over the past few days.

Putting Valladolid to the sword last weekend as Madrid breezed their way to a 6-0 romp on home soil, Ancelotti has once again been filled with praise for Benzema’s heroics.

Spearheading Los Blancos’ attack as they punched their Champions League quarter-final ticket against Liverpool last month, Madrid’s attacking icon has now bagged 18 goals across all competitions since returning from the festive interval.

Still in the hunt to defend his La Liga Golden Boot this season, Benzema will have his sights set on dragging the Spanish giants to consecutive European titles in 2023.

Match Report:

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Araujo, Kounde, Alonso, Balde, Kessie, Busquets, Roberto, Raphinha, Lewandowski, Gavi

Subs: Fati, Torres, Garcia

Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Camavinga, Modric, Kroos, Valverde, Rodrygo, Benzema, V. Junior

Subs: Tchouameni, Asesnio, Nacho

Goals: V. Junior (45+1′), Benzema (50′, 58′ P, 80′)

Yellow Cards: Barcelona: Araujo, Balde, Roberto, Gavi, Garcia, Torres, Fati – Real Madrid: Alaba, Militao, Carvajal, V. Junior

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Jose Luis Munuera Montero

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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  • Mulauzi

    0 0

    Barcelona is a very small team compared to RM and they have been ut to their right size, no more noises! CASE CLOSED!

  • Mulauzi

    0 0

    Barcelona is a very small team compared to RM and they have been ut to their right size, no more noises! CASE CLOSED!

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