Copa Del Burro – The Final Analysis

The Copa Del Burro came to a conclusion last night, as Real Madrid of Division One, led by Roy Keane travelled to Bilbao and the second leg against Gareth Crisp’s Athletic Club.

Madrid could be forgiven if they had taken their eye off the ball in this competition, as they are currently equal on points with Bayern in Div 1, although they trail Spanish rivals and league leaders Barcelona by 11 points.

Crisp’s men however will have viewed their journey to the final as something of an enjoyable adventure. The North coast side are bottom of Div 2, 16 points from safety with only 21 points available. They could in fact be relegated this evening dependent on results.

Going in to last nights final, Keanes men held a 4 – 1 advantage following a comfortable win at the Bernebeau in leg 1.

Athletic Club (1) v (4) Real Madrid Att: 9,627

The match kicked off in front of just under 10,000 fans in the ground. It was the home side who had the first chance. DR Congo striker Mbokani beat Hart, but his effore dribbled wide of the post after 11 minutes.
Madrid soon got themselves into the running though. Hazard forced a good save from Claudio Bravo on 19 minutes, and then went better 2 minutes later. The Belgian was released by Busquets, and his shot arrowed into the centre of the goal. That left the tie at 5 – 1 on aggregate to Madrid, and essentially game over.
Fabregas almost scored 60 seconds after the goal, and in the final piece of first ha;f action, Sergio Ramos went into the referees notebook. 
Crisp decided to ring the changes at the break in an attempt to shake things up and at least make a fight of things. Gentner, Gomez & Bueno were withdrawn, and Kostic, Bacca & Lennon were introduced.
Half time substitute Bacca

The changes almost paid dividends just 4 minutes into the second half. Balenziaga put Bacca through, but unfortunately the Wookie fired over the top.
With the tie being a dead rubber by this stage, the second half was a quiet affair. Madrid had a couple of opportunities around the hour mark, and Fabregas and Rodriguez managed to join Ramos in the referee’s notebook, but Ream Madrid really just saw the tie out. 
Post match, Roy Keane said he was pleased to get his hands on the Del Buro trophy, and called Athletic Club the second best side in Spain, thouroughly congratulating Crisp on his efforts in getting Bilbao to the final. He also said that he and the Madrid side were looking forward to representing Spain in the World Club Cup.
Crisp on the other hand gave all the plaudits to the team in white, and magnaminously wished Keane and Madrid all the luck for the World finals.
Del Burro Final second Leg TOTW
Bravo A. Club – 8
Juanfran R. Madrid – 7
Marcelo R. Madrid – 7
Ramos R. Madrid – 8
Godin R. Madrid 7
Busquets R. Madrid – 8
Fabregas R. Madrid – 7
Rodriguez R. Madrid – 7
Neymar R. Madrid – 8
Lewandowski R. Madrid – 8
Hazard R. Madrid 9

Del Burro Competition overview
Ten Spanish teams took part in the innaugural Copa Del Burro, along with two Portuguese sides. Split across 4 groups of 3 teams, the clubs that started the competition were Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid in Group A. Group B was Athletic Club, Barcelona and Levante. In group C we had Sevilla along with Portuguese sides Porto and Sporting, and finally Group D consisted of Malaga, Espanyol and Celta Vigo.
The competition saw 31 individual fixtures take place, and amazingly not one single game finished goal less. 
Group Results and tables
Group A
Date Fixture Result
Weds 24th Feb A. Madrid v R. Madrid 0 – 5
Weds 2nd March Villareal v A. Madrid 0 – 1
Weds 9th March R. Madrid v Villareal 5 – 0
Weds 16th March R. Madrid v A. Madrid 1 – 1
Weds 23rd March A. Madrid v Villareal 0 – 1
Weds 30th March Villareal v R. Madrid 3 – 2

Group A Played Won Lost Drawn G/F G/A G/D Points
Real Madrid 4 2 1 1 13 4 9 7
Villareal 4 2 2 0 4 8 -4 6
Atletico Madrid 4 1 1 2 2 7 -5 4
Group B
Date Fixture Result
Weds 24th Feb A. Club v Barcelona 3 – 2
Weds 2nd March Levante v A. Club 1 – 1
Weds 9th March Barcelona v Levante 3 – 0
Weds 16th March Barcelona v A. Club 1 – 2
Weds 23rd March A. Club v Levante 4 – 0
Weds 30th March Levante v Barcelona 1 – 1

Group B Played Won Lost Drawn G/F G/A G/D Points
Athletic Club 4 3 0 1 10 4 6 10
Barcelona 4 1 2 1 7 6 1 4
Levante 4 0 2 2 2 9 -7 2
Group C
Date Fixture Result
Weds 24th Feb Porto v Sporting 2 – 1
Weds 2nd March Sporting v Sevilla 0 – 1
Weds 9th March Sevilla v Porto 0 – 1
Weds 16th March Sporting v Porto 0 – 1
Weds 23rd March Sevilla v Sporting 2 – 3
Weds 30th March Porto v Sevilla 0 – 2

Group C Played Won Lost Drawn G/F G/A G/D Points
Porto 4 3 1 0 4 3 1 9
Sevilla 4 2 1 0 5 4 1 6
Sporting 4 1 3 0 4 6 -2 3
Group D
Date Fixture Result
Weds 24th Feb Celta Vigo v Malaga 1 – 2
Weds 2nd March Malaga v Espanyol 3 – 2
Weds 9th March Espanyol v Celta Vigo 0 – 2
Weds 16th March Malaga v Celta Vigo 2 – 0
Weds 23rd March Espanyol v Malaga 3 – 4
Weds 30th March Celta Vigo v Espanyol 1 – 1
Group D Played Won Lost Drawn G/F G/A G/D Points
Malaga 4 4 0 0 11 6 5 12
Celta Vigo 4 1 2 1 4 5 -1 4
Espanyol 4 0 3 1 6 10 -4 1

A special mention should be given here to Malaga. Greg Billington’s side were the only club to get out of the group stage without dropping a single point. 

Knock Out Round’s Fixtures and Results
Weds 6th April R. Madrid v Porto 5 – 2
Weds 6th April A. Club v Malaga 1 – 2
Weds 13th April Porto v R. Madrid 0 – 3
Weds 13th April Malaga v A. Club 1 – 2
Weds 20th April R. Madrid v A. Club 4 – 1
Weds 27th April  A. Club v R. Madrid 0 – 1
Surprises and dissapointments
Not a huge number of shocks and surprises in the competition, but there are a couple of standouts that do fall into this category though. First off, Gareth Crisp getting his struggling second division side into the final. Another shock would also be Athletic Club beating division one leaders Barcelona 3 – 2 on opening night. This was backed up with a 2 – 1 win at the Nou Camp, so all in all the competition has been an outstanding one for the Bilbao side.
For Barcelona however, it was nothing short of an absolute shocker. In a group with two lower league sides, division 4 strugglers Levante joined Athletic Club and Barca, the Catalan side would have been expected to take maximum points. As it was, they only managed one victory, beating Levante 3 – 0 at home. The return leg though threw up what is arguably Levante’s result of the season, a 1 – 1 draw. 
Barcelona would have to be considered the biggest dissapointment of the competition, and an El Classico final was expected as the competition began. Barce have seemingly thrown their eggs into the division one basket however, dominating the league and should have that wrapped up with a few games to spare.
The other real surprise would be Villareal beating eventual winners Real Madrid in the final round of group fixtures. Andrew Kelly’s division 5 outfit put in a sensational performance and came away with three well earned points. 

Top scorers

It’s no coincidence that the top scorer list is dominated by Real Madrid. Lewandowski comfortably picking up the Golden Boot award. Outsie of the players listed, nobody else scored more than 1 goal in the competition There were however 50 other individual goal scorers, and a total of 92 goals scored throughout the competition. Across the 31 fixtures played, this averages out at a smidge under 3 goals per game, meaning that no matter if your side won or lost, the chances are you had an enjoyable evening watching the game.

Player Goals
Lewandowski R. Madrid 9
Neymar R. Madrid 6
Bale R. Madrid 4
Mbokani A. Club 3
Hemed Malaga 3
Bueno A. Club 3
Brahimi Porto  2
Bacca A. Club 2
Parejo Sevilla 2
Amrabat Malaga 2
Sandro Villarreal 2
Lukaku Porto 2
Hazard R. Madrid

Golden Gloves
A grand total of 14 clean sheets were kept across the competition. Once again, Madrid had the man at the top of the list. Joe Hart’s 4 clean sheets representing just about 28% of all the clean sheets kept.

Player Clean sheet
Joe Hart R. Madrid 4
Casillas Porto 2
Pimparel Beto Sevilla 2
Manuel Neuer Barca 1
Jan Oblak A. Madrid 1
Alvarez Celta Vigo 1
Ochoa Malaga 1
Bravo A. Club 1
S Asenjo Villarreal 1

Team of the tournament
Once again, no surprises here. The team of the tournament is dominated by the champions. Seven of the eleven players turned out in the white.
Joe Hart –  R. Madrid
Juanfran – R. Madrid
Marcelo – R. Madrid
Rakitskiy – A. Club
Jucelie – A. Club
Koke – A. Madrid
Brahimi – Porto
Fabregas – R. Madrid
Lewandowski R. Madrid
Neymar R. Madrid
Bale R. Madrid

Manager of the tournament

1. Gareth Crisp – A. Club: Voted into number one place despite missing out on lifting the pot. Sneaked the top spot purely because his side over achieved so much comparative to their league position.
2. Roy Keane – R. Madrid: Champions. Top scorer. Most clean sheets. Seven of the XI team of the tournament players. If a man has put together that kind of domination, he has to be on the list.
3. Greg Billington – Malaga: Unbeaten in the group stage. Not only unbeaten, but 4 wins from 4 games. Not only that, but they played Athletic Club in the semi final stage, and forced the game into a one off play off fixture before eventually going out 2 – 0 in the sudden death match.
All in all, the first ever Copa Del Burro has been a fabulous competition, and hopefully next season the likes of Benfica and Valencia will also take part, and we can get a full house with all of the Iberian clubs taking part in the competition.

Congratulations to Roy Keane and Real Madrid on picking up this hotly contested piece of silverware


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