Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole
's live coverage of the Copa del Rey final between Real Madrid
and their city rivals Atletico.
These two faced each other in La Liga just a few weeks ago, when a second-string Real side ran out 2-1 winners. They'll welcome back the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo
and Mesut Ozil this time, so will provide Atletico with an even tougher test.
Atletico won't be a pushover though, as regular watchers of Spanish football will know. They've been just behind the top two
for most of the season and will join Europe's elite in the Champions League next season.
Also, I know it seems a long time ago now, but a lot of you will remember a certain Radamel Falcao scoring a hat-trick as Atletico beat Chelsea 4-1 in the European Super Cup final back in August.
The Columbian striker told the club
's official website this week that Atletico "have faith" in themselves and told his teammates to "enjoy it."
Real are undoubtedly the favourites though, and rightly so. They're unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions, and are yet to be beaten at home this season.
They'll be confident going into the game and, as Xabi Alonso said this week
, if Madrid play well they are going to create enough chances to win the game.
The statistics are stacked against Atletico. Diego Simeone's men have won just once in their last four La Liga games, and Atletico have actually failed to win in their last 25 games against Real! A winless run in all competitions which stretches back to 1999.
I mentioned one of the danger men earlier in the commentary, Radamel Falcao is Atletico's top scorer and has been coveted by a host of Europe's top clubs in the past few months, while there is no doubt about Real's key threat. Cristiano Ronaldo has netted 34 times
in La Liga this season, and has eight goals in eight games against tonight's opponents.
Another intriguing sub-plot this evening, is how many participants will still be plying their trade in Spain next season. Jose Mourinho
has reportedly agreed to rejoin Chelsea, Falcao as I said, has been linked with several clubs, with reports this week that a £50m transfer to AS Monaco has been agreed. Then there is Ronaldo, who has also been linked with a return to English football, either to Manchester United, or to join his current boss in West London.
Some team news coming through just now...
REAL MADRID: Diego Lopez; Essien, Ramos, Albiol, Coentrao; Alonso, Khedira; Ozil, Modric, Ronaldo; Benzema
Courtois; Juanfran, Godin, Miranda
, Luis; Gabi, Mario; Koke, Costa, Turan; Falcao
So, there's no place for Pepe, who seems to have played his last game under Mourinho, with Raul Albiol coming in for the injured Raphael Varane. Ahead of them, Luka Modric gets the nod ahead of Angel Di Maria and Kaka in midfield.
The visitors are as expected, with Mario Suarez returning from injury to replace Tiago. Arda Turan and Diego Costa
will provide support for star-striker Falcao.
We should be in for an entertaining game today with two big rivals facing off in a cup final. I have to say I'm leaning towards Real though, they're at home and I think they'll have too much firepower for their opponents.
On top of that Mourinho will definitely want to sign off at Real with a trophy. He hasn't been able to bring the Champions League back to the Bernabeu but a Copa del Rey won't be the worst way to leave the team.
Atletico's Diego Costa is currently the competition's top scorer with seven goals. Ronaldo is just behind him with six strikes, so who will end the game with the Copa del Rey 'Pichichi'?
Winning the cup in Real's back yard would really be an impressive achievement for Diego Simeone, who after lifting the Europa League last season, has comfortably guided Atletico to the Champions League.
A win today would give Atletico their tenth Copa del Rey. Eight of their nine victories so far have been secured at the Bernabeu. Madrid meanwhile, have 18 Copa del Rey titles.
I said earlier that I fancied Real to win tonight. Another factor in deciding the victors could be the crowd. The Bernabeu can be notoriously loud and will let the referee know every time they feel wronged by a decision.
It goes without saying that the visitor's defence will have to be wary of Real's attacking threat, but the host's will have to be at their best defensively as well. With Varane injured, Falcao may have expected to face Pepe. The Columbian might fancy his chances against the slower Raul Albiol but will have Sergio Ramos to contend with as well.
The players are out on the pitch and Atletico will get us underway...
Real start the match confidently with Modric flicking the ball wide to Khedira, who is taken out by Suarez. Real opt against putting the ball into the box and play it across midfield to Ozil.
Modric wins a 50/50 in the middle with Suarez and plays the ball wide to Ronaldo. The Portuguese comes back inside and Madrid continue to dominate possession through midfield, until Ronaldo regains the ball and shoots from distance. He deflected effort is easily caught by the goalkeeper though.
Modric is getting a lot of the ball in these early stages, spraying the ball wide for Essien, who after playing a one-two with Ronaldo, wins a corner. Ozil's in-swinger is cleared by Atletico.
The visitors finally enjoy a bit of possession, with Suarez and Gabi playing the ball between each other before putting it wide for Koke, whose cross is punched away by Lopez.
Madrid continue to play keep-ball, before Ramos launches the ball long towards Benzema, but Courtois catches easily. He looks for the quick counter attack, but Real regain the ball with Alonso in the middle.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Atletico Madrid (Ronaldo)
Benzema and Ronaldo break forward but the latter is dispossessed and the ball goes out for a corner. Ozil curls the ball towards the penalty spot, where Ronaldo leaps highest and heads beyond Courtois.
Turan does excellently to turn away from Alonso and Khedira on the left before cutting inside and playing the ball to Gabi. The Atletico skipper looks up and shoots from 25 yards but his effort goes over the crossbar.
Falcao drops deep and shakes off Modric before playing it left to Luis. The full-back plays in Turan whose cross from the byline is deflected for a corner but Koke's delivery is cleared.
Ronaldo loses the ball in the centre-circle, but Gabi's pass to Falcao is overhit and Real regain possession. Ramos hits the long pass but Atletico cut it out and break on the right. Juanfran plays the ball to Costa, who is taken out by Coentrao just outside the box on the right.
Koke lifts the ball in but Ronaldo heads it clear. Luis picks up the ball on the halfway line but his crossfield pass goes out for a throw in.
Modric nicks the ball off Falcao's toes on the edge of the Real box before releasing Ronaldo but the winger can't get on the end of the pass and Atletico take control of the ball.
The home side seem happy to play counter-attacking football now, with their one-goal lead. It could be a dangerous tactic with Atletico growing in confidence.
Turan releases Luis on the left, who beats Ramos but has his legs taken away by the chasing Ronaldo. Atletico free-kick on the left of the penalty area.
Koke's low delivery is sliced away for a corner by Benzema. The Atletico midfielder goes across to take another set-piece but his cross is caught well by Lopez.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid (Costa)
Falcao turns away from Albiol expertly and plays the ball through to Costa who fires the ball into the bottom corner with his left foot, despite the best efforts of the goalkeeper.
Real respond by pressing the ball higher up the pitch, but Atletico win the ball and break. Falcao holds the ball up but the hosts regains possession on break on the right.
Ronaldo picks the ball up in the middle of the pitch and plays it wide for Modric, who draws in Gabi before stepping past him and shooting wide.
Alonso plays the ball through to Ronaldo, who is seemingly taken down from behind by Gabi. The referee waves play on and Real attack again with Ronaldo popping up on the right, laying the ball the Ozil, who tries to play the one-two with Ramos but the return is not good enough.
CHANCE! Coentrao runs free on the left and tries to play a one-two with Benzema. The ball breaks inside though, where Ozil runs onto it and fires the ball past Courtois, but against the post!
HALF-TIME! Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Real were really pushing for the lead before the break. Ronaldo felt he was fouled on the edge of the box, and although the referee did blow the whistle, it was actually for half-time.
The home side really backed off after the opening goal, and it cost them in the end. Falcao, who has had to feed off scraps, did really well to turn Albiol and pick out Costa who finished well from the edge of the penalty box.
The hosts showed that they are still a danger and will need to come out for the second period on the attack if they want to win this game. They aren't really the sort of side who are comfortable sitting back.
The referee has been happy to let the play continue today, not falling for any play-acting. I have to say though, I think Ronaldo can count himself a little unlucky not to have been awarded a couple of free-kicks within shooting range.
Turan and Costa have been a threat to the Real defence throughout the first half, while Modric has been the home side's key man. They need to get Ronaldo and Ozil on the ball more if they are to be successful in the second half.
The second half should see a few more chances too. There was some good play in the first period, but few real chances. As the time ticks away, both sides will have to go for it a bit more.
The players are out for the second period and it will be Real to get the second half started.
Real kick off...
Alonso plays the ball left to Ronaldo, who cuts in and tries to find Benzema but the Frenchman has already made his run wide and the ball goes through to Courtois.
Juanfran plays it inside for Gabi, who cleverly flicks it around the corner to Luis, but the left-back's shot is a poor one and Lopez easily gathers the ball.
Juanfran again picks up the ball and plays it forward to Falcao, who wins the free-kick out of Ramos on the right. Koke delivers the ball into a dangerous area, but Miranda can't quite react quick enough and the ball bounces off him and into the goalkeeper's arms.
Alonso heads it wide to Essien but his cross is blocked and Atletico break with Turan, who heads inside and plays the ball towards Costa. The Brazilian is fouled by Coentrao as he runs through, resulting in a yellow card for the Real left-back.
Real attack down the right again, where Essien plays the ball through to Ozil, who is brought down on the touchline by Godin. The midfielder picks himself up and swings the ball towards the back post, where Courtois reacts just in time to tip the ball wide!
CHANCE! Great play from Atletico as Falcao wriggles free and plays the ball to Turan, who flicks it right to Gabi. The midfielder's cross is met with a thunderous volley at the back post from Luis, but unfortunately it goes wide.
CHANCE! Unbelievable chance for Real! Ramos' clearance find Ronaldo on the left, he gets to the byline and cuts it back to Benzema, whose effort rebounds off the post. Ozil picks up the rebound and drops his shoulder past Miranda, before shooting at an empty net, only for Juanfran to somehow clear the ball off the line!
Essien loses the ball to Turan, who skips past Alonso and then Khedira, before the latter cynically trips him up just inside the Real half, earning himself a yellow card.
Koke plays the ball wide to Turan, who beats Essien, but is fouled by the right-back just outside the box on the left. Koke whips the ball in but Suarez's header is over the bar.
Benzema wins the ball and plays a neat one-two with Ozil, before a quick stepover beats Miranda. The referee gives the foul as the Frenchman loses possession and Ronaldo has the chance to shoot from the edge of the box...
OFF THE POST! Real hit the post yet again! Ronaldo cleverly shoots the ball underneath the wall, only to see the ball bounce back off the post. Essien picks up the rebound but fires over from close-range.
Mourinho is annoyed at the referee now for giving Atletico too man free-kicks, and has been sent away from the bench by the referee!
Alonso finds Benzema with a long pass into the corner but the striker is crowded out.
Khedira finds Ronaldo on the left and the winger cuts inside before being fouled. Alonso delivers the free-kick into the box but Courtois gathers it at the second attempt.
Atletico attack down the left with Turan but Khedira wins the ball before being fouled on the halfway line. Modric plays it wide to Coentrao before getting the ball back and finding Alonso, whose long pass misses Coentrao on the left.
Modric plays it wide to Ronaldo who beats Juanfran and fires the ball towards the back post, but Ozil can't control the ball at Atletico break.
Real can't break down Atletico, who at the moment seem happy to sit back and soak up the pressure. Only a few minutes of normal time remaining, will we get a winner?
There will be four minutes of stoppage time. No chances in the last few minutes for either side.
Turan flicks the ball down the line on the right for Gabi, whose cross is deflected for a corner. Koke swings the ball in but Lopez punches the ball away.
EXTRA-TIME Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Some late Atletico pressure, with a couple of quick corners, can not be converted into a winner and the side's will have to play an extra 30 minutes, with penalties looming if they still can't be separated.
Real really should have gone ahead two or three times in the second half, but missed their chances. Will they live to regret those misses in extra-time?
SUBSTITUTION Mourinho may not be on the bench anymore, but Real make three changes for extra time. Benzema, Coentrao and Modric are replaced by Di Maria, Higuiain and Arbeoloa.
Atletico kick off...
Gabi releases Costa on the right but his deflected cross is cleared away by Essien at the back post. Juanfran's resulting throw finds Costa on the right once more, but Arbeloa shepherds the ball out for a goal kick.
CHANCE! Koke skips away from Alonso and slips the ball through to Costa, whose tame effort is blocked by Lopez. The Brazilian gets a second chance but the goalkeepers blocks the ball again and Real clear.
CHANCE! Another good chance for Atletico has Turan chips the ball into Koke, whose touch just allows Essien in to head away for a corner.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-2 Atletico Madrid (Miranda)
Koke's corner is headed back to him, and at the second chance he whips a dangerous ball into the near post, where Miranda is on hand to head the ball into an open net.
Costa wins the ball and runs at the Real defence, beating two players before Essien trips him on the edge of the penalty area.
Falcao steps up to take the free-kick, swerving it over the wall but just over the bar as well.
Ozil plays the ball to Ronaldo who skips past a couple of challenges and flicks it inside to Alonso, but his long-range effort goes well over the bar.
CHANCE! Alonso plays the ball forward and Godin's poor clearance slices up in the air and falls to Higuiain, but his volley is saved by Courtois.
HALF-TIME in EXTRA-TIME Real Madrid 1-2 Atletico Madrid
SUBSTITUTION The visitors bring on Adrian for Diego Costa with fifteen minutes remaining.
Di Maria has a free-kick wide on the right, but swings it straight into the arms of Courtois.
SAVE! A truly fantastic save from Courtois again! Ronaldo plays in Di Maria on the left, and the Argentine's cut-back finds Ozil at the back post but somehow Courtois denies him with the goal gaping!
SUBSTITUTION Cristian Rodriguez comes on for Arda Turan, for Atletico, as they have a corner.
SUBSTITUTION Atletico's final change, as Koke comes off for Raul Garcia.
RED CARD! Cristiano Ronaldo
A huge mele ensues on the bench, as Ronaldo is shown a red card after a coming together with Gabi.
Gabi comes in late on Ronaldo from behind, and as the Portuguese falls, he flicks a leg at Gabi. He doesn't really catch him but the Atletico man goes down holding his face. At the other end the Real fans are throwing things at Courtois, whose been struck by what appears to be a lighter!
Gabi is still down receiving treatment. I honestly don't think he is hurt, but it was a silly thing to do by Ronaldo.
More ugly scenes as Di Maria gets to the byline and pulls the ball back where it deflects off Suarez. The Real players hound the referee with the bench almost running on the pitch.
Five minutes of added time in extra time!
Ramos heads a long ball back across goal but Khedira is penalised for a foul on Suarez, relieving the pressure on Atletico.
RED CARD! Gabi
Gabi is sent off, receiving his second yellow card for not allowing Real to take a quick free-kick on the halfway line. Alonso launches it into the box but Atletico clear.
FULL-TIME Real Madrid 1-2 Atletico Madrid AET
A hugely eventful game eventually sees Atletico beat Madrid rivals Real for the first time in 14 years!
Not only that but the win the Copa del Rey!
Real only have themselves to blame for defeat if I'm honest. They missed a host of chances in the second half, and ran out of ideas as the game wore on, finally losing all their discipline in the last minutes.
It's also the first time Mourinho has finished a full season without winning any trophy. Not a happy end to his Real Madrid career after all.
Well, I hoped you enjoyed that as much as me. Stick around on Sports Mole for all the fallout from an eventful game. Have a good evening, and thanks for joining me.