Game Changer 🔥✨⚡
Real Madrid have won this tournament 19 times previously, with only Barcelona (31) and Athletic Bilbao (23) winning it on more occasions. The last time Los Blancos won the cup was back in 2014, when they defeated Barcelona 2-1 in the final, but Carlo Ancelotti wasn't getting ahead of himself today. His side had performed poorly in recent games, notably a 2-1 league defeat to Villarreal in the league two weeks ago. They were also ridiculed by their El Clasico rivals in the Supercopa final last weekend, losing 3-1.
Ancelotti made two changes to the side that lost to Barcelona as Rodrygo and Nacho replaced Luka Modric and Daniel Carvajal in the starting 11.
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Nacho Fernandez, Eder Militao, Antonio Rudiger, Ferland Mendy; Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga, Toni Kroos; Rodrygo, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior.
SUBS: Andriy Lunin, Luis Lopez, Jesus Vallejo, Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio, Alvaro Odriozola, Dani Ceballos, Mariano Diaz, Mario Martin, Vinicius Tobias
📋✅ Our starting XI 🆚 @VillarrealCFen!#CopaDelRey pic.twitter.com/YMpH7V42m8— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) January 19, 2023
Villarreal were beginning to find their feet under manager Quique Setien, as they were unbeaten in their last seven competitive matches. They have also recorded the biggest win in the Cup this season, beating Santa Amalia 9-0 in the second round.
Setien made six changes to his starting lineup from Villarreal’s most recent fixture as Reina, Albiol, Alberto Moreno, Capoue, Baena, and Pino all started.
Villarreal (4-3-3): Filip Jorgensen; Juan Foyth, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Alberto Moreno; Dani Parejo, Etienne Capoue, Alex Baena; Samuel Chukwueze, Gerard Moreno, Yeremy Pino.
SUBS: Pepe Reina, Jorge Cuenca, Johan Mojica, Manu Trigueros, Manu Morlanes, Jose Morales, Aissa Mandi, Diego Collado, Carlo Garcia, Fernando Nino.
¡Nuestro once inicial ante el @realmadrid!#CopaDelRey pic.twitter.com/YSAfpysJBy— Villarreal CF (@VillarrealCF) January 19, 2023
That is exactly what Madrid feared. The misery didn't take long to haunt them. Villarreal snatched an early lead as Capoue smashed the ball past Courtois! Gerard Moreno did well to use his body to protect the ball before flicking it on from the throw-in. The Frenchman then fired first, and his effort was too powerful for the goalkeeper to save. Capoue made no mistake with his finish to give Villarreal the lead. Capoue scored after just 3:15, the fastest goal for Villarreal in the Copa Del Rey this season.
Real Madrid did have a few chances to score in the midst of Villareal's dominance, but Mendy, Valverde, and Rodrygo all failed to hit the back of the net. Setien's side continued to push, and they got their reward right before halftime as Chukwueze doubled their lead. Gerard Moreno once again provided the assist, picking up his second assist of the game with a brilliant pass and move. He picked up the ball and held onto it for a second to draw Militao out of position. This allowed Chukwueze to run into the space and score for Villarreal.
Villarreal were in great form, and they were playing like it. Their confidence and bravery on the ball were proving too much for Real Madrid. The main difference between the two sides was the frontline. Gerard Moreno, Chukwueze, and Pino were making good runs and holding the ball up well, whereas Benzema and Vinicius Junior were failing to retain the ball and make an impact.
The Yellow Submarines provided a stern test for their opponents, as only Barcelona have conceded fewer goals in the league than them this season.
Real Madrid were pushing extremely high to open the half as they tried to grab an early goal and attempt to generate some momentum to mount a comeback. Villarreal were settling back into the game and finding the rhythm they played the first half with.
Three of the last five meetings between the two sides have ended in draws. It has been a relatively low-scoring affair in recent matchups, averaging just 1.6 goals per game over the last five matches.
A mountain to climb, and time is the enemy here, but when it's Real Madrid, nothing seems impossible. It's 56 on the clock, and Carlo introduced a promising player who never received the recognition he deserved. Zidane never believed him but atleast Ancelotti was handing him munites. His contract runs out this season. He simply needed a chance to demonstrate his class, and his reply was louder. The guy altered everything. It just took a minute to link up with Vini and Benzema to set up the opening goal and best opportunity of the game. Ceballos played the perfect pass for Vinicius, and he used his body well to fend off the defender before placing the ball past Jorgensen. Game on! The midfielder made an instant impact in this match.
⚡ @vinijr kickstarted the comeback!— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) January 20, 2023
🆚 @VillarrealCFen #CopaDelRey pic.twitter.com/zabWdO8Ztt
Ceballos has contributed to three goals in his last three games in the Copa Del Rey (0 goals, 3 assists).
This guy again played a role in the equalizer. Flew a perfect cross for Benzema to score, but Benzema’s initial header was saved well by Jorgensen, and the rebound went straight to Militao. He took a touch before sticking his right foot at the ball.
This man wasn't done yet. He was controlling the game. Creating chances. Defending, pressing, tackling, and 90% passing accuracy in a heated, fast-paced match. The only thing that match was missing was a comeback and a goal from this man. It had to be him, and man, it was a screamer. Real Madrid completed the comeback as Ceballos finished into the bottom corner. Asensio kept the ball alive after an overhit pass from Vinicius. He finds Ceballos on the edge of the box, and the midfielder finishes first-time past Jorgensen.
👂 Did somebody say comeback?@DaniCeballos46 | #CopaDelRey pic.twitter.com/SXadoe0UGe— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) January 19, 2023
Dear Madrid, please offer him an extension. This guy can execute everything we crave. It took my heart away when he dragged a Barcelona player by the hair. He is us. We want him. He should undoubtedly start more matches.
📹 𝐆𝐎𝐀𝐋𝐒 & 𝐇𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐋𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐓𝐒 📹— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) January 19, 2023
🆚 @VillarrealCFen 2-3 @realmadriden
💪 Comeback KINGS! 👑#CopaDelRey pic.twitter.com/MythejywdG
They did it the hard way, but it was a much-needed win for Real Madrid. They will be looking to take this momentum back into the league, whereas Villarreal can take pride in their first-half display but will want to forget that second period. Ancelotti's side face Athletic Bilbao in their next match, while Villarreal host Girona.
🅷🅰🆅🅴 🅰 🅽🅸🅲🅴 🅳🅰🆈 ❗ 🅰🅳🅸🅾🆂 ❗
🅷🅰🆅🅴 🅰 🅽🅸🅲🅴 🅳🅰🆈 ❗ 🅰🅳🅸🅾🆂 ❗
When it’s Real Madrid you always feel like there is a comeback coming the moment we grab the first goal even when we play bad. The first half was a total disaster.
Just like in the league, we couldn’t even press them in the first half. They passed through out press so easily and could easily beat the midfield with ease. It needed a change and boy that change was Ceballos.
It was a perfect ending for him to grab the winning goal and boy am I glad we could beat Villarreal. It would have been a disgrace to loose against them twice in a row. At least we have been able to win against them since how many years?🤔
I think Carlo has to start trusting the players he has on the bench and stop forcing players to play out of position. I can never understand how you will have Vinicius Tobias and Odriozola as natural right backs but still force to play Nacho as a right back.
I hope Ceballos gets his chance. This season whenever he came, made an impact. I don't know why Odriozola isn't getting any time. He was good in Fiorentina. This guy has potential.
I don't have a problem with Nacho. Sometimes he is even a better option than Carvajal. Carvajal in the last El Clasico was the reason for all the goals. So Ancelotti made a defensive approach, and it paid off.
Anytime I want to talk bad against Carjaval then he suddenly has a very good game. After that we all forget about how he has cause us to loose games really badly in the past.
He has a way of always putting us in trouble and it’s really hurting us.
Carvajal is a bit of TAA. Both can't cover both attack and defense. There is always a lacking somewhere. Luckily Madrid will go for an RB in the next season.
But they lose with Barca 🥲 That broke my heart 💔
I am happy with that. That was needed. Madrid was too confident. It helped us realize what we are missing.