Real Madrid v Athletic Club Att: 15,952
The first leg of the Copa Del Burro took place last night, and evebn with another 90 minutes still to come, one side looks an absolute shoe in to move onto the World Club Cup.
Second division Atletic Club must have feared the worst as they travelled south from their coastal base in Bilbao, but they made a bright start. So bright in fact that they took the lead on 16 minutes to stun the Bernebeau.
Young Belgian starlet Ferreira Carasco played in Bueno who netted for the third time in this years competition.
The lead was to last for just 10 minutes though. On 26, Neymar slammed home Cesc Fabregas’ through ball. he Bernebeau erupted and Keane’s men were visibally liftedfollowing a slow start.
Another 7 minutes later, and Hazard scored. To give an idea of Madrid’s superiority during this spell, Neymar’s goal on 26, and Hazards on 33 sandwiched misses from both Fabregas & Busquets. Essentially if it wasnt for Bravo, there is every chance that Madrid would have turned a 1 – 0 deficit into a 4 – 1 lead in just 7 minutes. As it was though, the visitors kept the score at 2 – 1, and that is how it remained until the break.
Madrid were keen to avoid a slow start in the second half, and just 2 minutes in Hazard forced yet another save from Bravo.
60 seconds later though, Copa Del Burro top scorer Robert Lewandowski sent home a beautiful free kick to give Madrid some daylight, and grab his 9th Del Burro goal this season.
Just before the hour mark, Athletic Club were given a boost. Godin lunged wildly at Mbokani, and was given a straight red.
So with half hour to play, and a man advantage, could the north coast side get themselves back into the game?
No is the answer. Aaron Lennon had a chance, but that was about all. Being a man short wasnt a huge issue for Real, and on 83 Sergio Ramos made it 4 – 1, effectively sealing Madrid’s progression into the next round.
Gareth Crispcan be proud of his sides efforts however. Better sides than his will put in much worse performances against Madrid. And although it looks comfortable right now, if Athletic Club can get themselves a couple of goals to the good at home, the pressure will be backon Madrid.
It’s a big ask, but its a challenge that must at least be accepted.
The draw for the World Club Cup was also made last night. Steven Beddows hosting iton Top 100 TV.
For the winners of the Del Burro trophy, a trip to France or Holland lies ahead. Given the way results went last night though, it is unlikely to be anything other than Real v PSG in the first round.The French side comfortably saw off Feyenoord 6 – 1 at home.
Although PSG are currently in div 2, they have an extremely strong first XI, and a game against Real couldpotentially be one of the ties of the tournament.
We also know that the route for the Copa Del Burro winners would take them to either Italy or Russia should they see off Paris.
Juventus last night beat Napoli 1 – 0, and with it being tight they will know that next weeks journey south will be a tricky one.
In Russia, Dynamo beat Spartak 2 – 1 in the Moscow derby, but the expectation must be that whoever wins through in this encounter will be nothing more than cannon fodder should they face the likes of Real.
|TOTW Final Leg 1|
|Bravo A. Club – 6|
|Juanfran R. Madrid – 7|
|Marcelo R. Madrid – 7|
|Ramos R. Madrid – 9|
|Jucilei A. Club – 6|
|Busquets R. Madrid – 8|
|Fabregas R. Madrid – 8|
|Rodriguez R. Madrid – 8|
|Neymar R. Madrid – 10|
|Lewandowski R. Madrid – 8|
|Hazard R. Madrid 9|