Bale brilliance wins Copa

Gareth Bale's brilliant individual effort five minutes from time gave Real Madrid a 2-1 win over Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.

Last Updated: 17/04/14 at 11:17 Post Comment

Gareth Bale: Celebrates after scoring the winner in Copa del Rey

Gareth Bale: Celebrates after scoring the winner in Copa del Rey

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

With Tuesday night's match in Valencia looking like going into extra-time, Bale broke and beat the challenge of Marc Bartra before poking the ball past Jose Manuel Pinto to win the game for Real.

Real had led thanks to Angel Di Maria's early strike, and they had been the better team in the first half.

But Barca came into the game in the second half and levelled just after the hour when Bartra headed home Xavi's corner.

Then it was down to Bale. Real countered off a Barca corner and Isco fed the Welshman, who rose to the occasion to grab the goal which gives him his first major honour of his career.

Barca's own record signing Neymar wasted a glorious chance to level in the final minute as he fired his shot against the post.

It marks the end of one the worst weeks in the recent history of Barcelona. Having gone out of the Champions League to Atletico Madrid, and then losing against Granada in La Liga at the weekend, the pressure was on them to beat Real, but instead it was Carlo Ancelotti's side who picked up the first piece of silverware of the season from King Juan Carlos of Spain at the Mestalla.

Ancelotti was forced to re-jig his team due to the continued absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, opting for Isco to complement Bale and Karim Benzema.

Isco was carded after three minutes for cutting down Neymar but responded with a quick through-ball which allowed Bale to attack down the left, the Wales star shooting across the face of goal and just wide of the far post.

Bale influence

Bale was in the thick of the action and had another attempt a minute later, shooting on the turn, but was denied by a deflection by Javier Mascherano. Just a couple of minutes later, Madrid took the lead through a precise counter.

Isco held the ball up in midfield before squaring to Bale, who found Karim Benzema on the left wing. The Frenchman played Di Maria in with one touch and the Argentinian surged into the box to shoot into the bottom corner, Pinto unable to prevent the shot creeping in at the post.

A fine block by Mascherano prevented Isco from making it 2-0, the former Liverpool man sliding across to prevent the forward from making the most of Bale's cut-back.

Bale almost provided a sensational start to the second half, bursting his way past two Barca defenders only to shoot the wrong side of the near post.

The former Tottenham hero then tried his luck from outside the area, striking the ball with the outside of his foot and just onto the top of the net.

Barca were unable to breach Madrid's defence, which was aided by vital interventions by forwards Di Maria and Isco. Bartra's solution was to have a go from range, but his shot was batted away by Iker Casillas.

Benzema then nearly caught Pinto out at the near post, and Bale headed home from the resulting corner, but the goal was ruled out for offside with the keeper out of position.

Barca then won a corner from which Bartra rose to power a header into the top left-hand corner and beyond Casillas, who conceded for the first time in nine Copa del Rey matches this season.

Bale tried to reply with a run down the left and a shot that Pinto quickly repelled, then Luka Modric saw his shot go just over.

Barca attacked with intent, although they were unable to test Casillas but with five minutes to go, Bale won the match with his rampaging run, racing past Bartra before calmly beating Pinto.

The game almost took another twist in stoppage time, Neymar smashing the post but the ball landing safely in the hands of Casillas before any Barca players could pounce.

But that was the Catalans' last attempt, and Madrid, beaten by city rivals Atletico in last year's final at the Bernabeu, were able to enjoy a happier outcome this time around.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Thursday, 29 January 2015
21:00
Ath Bilbao 1-0 Malaga  
Sevilla 1-0 Espanyol  
19:00
Getafe 0-1 Villarreal  
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
20:00
A Madrid 2-3 Barcelona Report
Thursday, 22 January 2015
21:00
Espanyol 3-1 Sevilla Report
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Barcelona 1-0 A Madrid Report
Malaga 0-0 Ath Bilbao  
19:00
Villarreal 1-0 Getafe  
Thursday, 15 January 2015
21:00
Elche 0-4 Barcelona  
19:00
R Madrid 2-2 A Madrid  

Footer 365

Les Hutchison's takeover of Motherwell has been ratified

Lanarkshire businessman Les Hutchison has completed his takeover of Scottish Premiership club Motherwell.

Mark Hughes in preliminary talks over new contract at Stoke City

Mark Hughes has revealed preliminary talks over him extending his stay as Stoke City manager are underway.

Cristiano Ronaldo admits he made a mistake against Cordoba, says Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti

Cristiano Ronaldo knows he made a mistake against Cordoba and accepts his two-game ban, according to Carlo Ancelotti.

Mail Box

'Costa Is A Bad Man. Suarez Is Not'

That's quite some claim. And yes, unfortunately we are still talking about this. We also have mails on Ronaldinho, possible replacements for Yaya Toure and more...

Red Mist Better Than Calculated Costa?

Hmmm. We're not sure about this argument - one Mailbox says Luis Suarez is easier to forgive because he is a little loco. We also have mails on Studge and more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company