The Copa del Rey trophy
was supposed to be coach
Jose Mourinho’s parting gift
for Real Madrid, or at least
a consolation prize after a
season that will be
remembered for his
abrasive antics and his
team’s failure to win
Instead, Atletico Madrid
ended a 14-year winless
run against its city rival by
taking the title on Friday,
coming from behind for a
cathartic 2-1 win in extra
time after Mourinho and his
star forward Cristiano
Ronaldo were sent off.
Brazilian defender Miranda
headed in Jorge “Koke”
Resurrecion’s cross in the
eighth minute of extra time
to give Atletico its 10th
Copa del Rey title and first
since 1996.
“This is for our fans that
have suffered for 14
years,” Atletico’s captain
Gabi Fernandez said
as he
received the trophy from
Spain’s King Juan Carlos.
“This team worked hard for
this and deserved it.”
Ronaldo appeared to have
put Madrid on its way to yet
another victory over its
crosstown rivals when he
headed in a goal in the 14th
minute. But Atletico refused
to fold and Radamel Falcao
set up Diego Costa to level
10 minutes before halftime.
Mourinho was sent off for
protesting a decision in the
76th. Likely heading back to
England in the off-season,
he will finish his last
campaign in Madrid without
a title after it lost the
Spanish league to
Barcelona and bowed out of
the Champions League
“This is my worst season. I
have never not won an
important title. You can say
I failed this season,”
Mourinho said. “With one
final, a semifinal, a second-
place finish, and a Spanish
Supercup, for many other
coaches it would have been
a good season. For me it’s
the worst.”
Mourinho repeated that he
would decide his future with
club president Florentino
Perez after the season
ends in early June,
although there is strong
expectation he will return
to former club Chelsea.
Ronaldo received a straight
red card for kicking Gabi in
the face in the 114th,
setting off a sideline scuffle
between the benches.
Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut
Courtois was struck in the
head by an object thrown
from the Santiago Bernabeu
stands shortly afterward.
Atletico also ended the
match with 10 men when
Gabi was sent off seconds
before the final whistle for
a second yellow card. But
that came too late to
prevent a victory that
even the coach
acknowledged was a lucky
one, with Madrid’s shots
repeatedly hitting the frame
of the goal.
“We had the good fortune
that a champion needs,”
said Atletico coach Diego
Simeone, who added the
cup to the Europa League
title won last year. “What
these players have done
for the past year and a half
is amazing. I don’t have
words for it.”
Following years of
frustration and accumulated
doubt after failing to beat
Madrid in 25 games since
1999, Atletico had to
overcome an opening goal
by Ronaldo.
Ronaldo, who scored the
extra-time winner that beat
Barcelona and give Madrid
the 2011 Copa title, looked
set to play the starring role
once again when he rose
over a defender to head in
Luka Modric’s corner and
net his 55th goal of the
But the Portugal forward let
the emotion of the game’s
final minutes get the best of
him, hurting his side when
he left it a man down just
when it most needed his
Mourinho spent the game in
the dugout after being
jeered before the match by
both sets of fans, with the
home supporters upset at
his dropping of iconic
goalkeeper Iker Casillas
and supposed desire to
return to England.
When he did emerge, he
didn’t last long as the
referee dismissed him for
vehemently protesting a
Atletico held firm after
Ronaldo’s opener and were
rewarded with an equalizer.
Falcao held off Raul Albiol’s
tackle, spun with the ball,
and placed a perfectly
weighted pass for Diego
Costa to run clear and
drive a left-footed strike
under ‘keeper Diego Lopez.
“Incredible,” Falcao said,
on the point of tears. “We
are so happy for this win.
We have to enjoy this.”
Madrid came alive after
Atletico equalized, and
Mesut Ozil volleyed a long
strike off the right post a
minute from halftime.
The tension increased in
the second half both in the
stands and on the pitch, as
Madrid began to tilt the
action toward Atletico’s
area and soon had two
golden chances in the 61st
when Karim Benzema fired a
loose ball off the upright.
Ozil then pounced on the
rebound and with Courtois
off line seemed sure to
score, but defender
Juanfran Torres blocked
his shot on the goalline.
In the 68th it was Ronaldo’s
turn to curse the goal
frame when he fooled the
defensive wall by slotting
his free kick at the edge of
the box under Mario
Suarez as he jumped, only
to see it crash off the post.
“It isn’t normal to hit the
post three times,” said
Mourinho. “You don’t have
to be an expert to think
that Atletico isn’t the just
winner. But in football all
that is forgotten, the posts,
the referee, and Atlent Aitor Karanka
made all three changes at
the start of extra time. But
even though Madrid had
the fresher legs, it was
Atletico that surged back in
front for good.
Lopez saved Diego Costa’s
back-to-back tries in the
95th, but he couldn’t stop
Miranda from meeting an
out-swinging cross to
score at the near post by
nodding the ball under the
goalkeeper and into the net
to send the fans clad in red
and white into ecstasy.
Madrid wasn’t done and
only Courtois’ goalkeeping
protected its lead with
stops to deny Gonzalo
Higuain in the 104th and
then Ozil in four minutes
into the second added
period when he stretched
to deflect his close-range
shot over the bar.



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