Atletico defeat Real Madrid, Barca scrape past third-tier rivals in Copa

Atletico defeat real madrid, barca scrape past third-tier rivals in copa0

Antoine Griezmann and Rodrigo Riquelme’s extra-time goals helped Atletico Madrid defeat rivals Real Madrid 4-2 and advance to the Copa del Rey quarterfinals on Thursday.

Barcelona advanced to the last 16 after an uninspiring 3-1 victory against third-tier Unionistas de Salamanca.

Atletico won an intriguing duel at the Rojiblancos’ Metropolitano stadium, the second of three Madrid derbies in less than a month, to hand Los Blancos their second loss of the season overall.

Madrid twice fought back against Atletico to force extra time, with Jan Oblak’s own goal wiping out Samuel Lino’s opening and Joselu scoring late after Morata put the hosts ahead again.

Griezmann burst down the right in extra time and finished with style, while Riquelme scored at the end to conclude the game and revenge Atletico’s 5-3 loss to Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final last week.

The defeat ended Madrid’s 21-game undefeated streak.

“I don’t think (Atletico have the measure of us), because we beat them a few days ago,” Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters.

“We played a complete game, even, hard-fought, against a strong rival.”

Once again, the contest was seamless from start to finish. Madrid’s Jude Bellingham struck the crossbar before Lino scored from close range to give Atletico the lead.

However, the Spanish Super Cup champions equalised before halftime when Luka Modric’s crossed free-kick dragged Oblak out of his goal.

The Slovenian, attempting to reach the ball but failing to catch it, ended up with the last touch as it sailed into his own goal.

Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid celebrated the equaliser more than anybody else, and there was no love lost between the Brazilian and Atletico fans.

The home crowd celebrated early in the second half when Morata put Atletico back ahead after Madrid custodian Andriy Lunin failed to retrieve the ball, which dropped invitingly into the striker’s path.

Real Madrid struck the crossbar again via Rodrygo before Joselu equalised with 10 minutes remaining.

After Vinicius slipped in Bellingham, the England international deftly cut the ball across for the target man to nod home, sending the game into extra time.

Griezmann broke through a tight first extra session with a superb solo move down the right side, edging Vinicius and finishing lethally over Lunin into the top corner to put Atletico ahead.

Substitute Dani Ceballos equalised for Madrid in the 111th minute, but the goal was called out for offside, and Riquelme scored to win the game.

“We had the patience to wait for our moment, Griezmann scored maybe his best goal, and (Riquelme) finished well on the counter,” said Atletico coach Diego Simeone.

Victory meant a lot to Atletico, who was behind in La Liga and had been wounded by Madrid’s previous setback, and they celebrated enthusiastically with their fans.

“The games recently have been really nice for fans, at high speed, decided in extra time, and today it was our turn to win,” Atletico captain Koke told TVE.

“Sometimes, I despair.”

After Alvaro Gomez wonderfully volleyed Unionistas ahead, Spanish champions Barcelona came back to win with goals from Ferran Torres, Jules Kounde, and Alejandro Balde.

After being thrashed by Madrid in the Super Cup final, the very least they needed was to advance, as questions surrounded the team and coach Xavi Hernandez.

“We played well in parts, but in others we have to play better, sometimes I despair because we don’t know what we need to,” Xavi told reporters after the game.

“When I say we’re in construction, it’s that, that we have to do what we need every single time.”

After defeating Villarreal, the hosts were pumped up and dreaming of an upset at their sold-out Reina Sofia stadium.

Unionistas scored first, shocking Barcelona, with the unmarked Gomez volleying home beautifully after 31 minutes.

Barca equalised before the interval when Torres burst free on the attack, sprinting through one-on-one from the halfway line and finishing confidently.

Xavi was dissatisfied until Kounde scored in the 69th minute from 25 yards out.

Balde made atonement for his bad marking on the Unionistas goal by scoring Barcelona’s third, a spectacular solo effort.

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