regular-article-logo Tuesday, 03 October 2023

Real Madrid thrash Barcelona to reach Copa del Rey final

Benzema becomes first Madrid player to score a hat-trick at Camp Nou since Ferenc Puskas in 1963

Reuters Barcelona Published 07.04.23, 04:47 AM
Karim Benzema.

Karim Benzema. File photo

Karim Benzema struck a hat-trick as Real Madrid thrashed arch-rivals and La Liga leaders Barcelona 4-0 to reach the Copa del Rey final in stunning fashion on Wednesday.

Benzema became the first Madrid player to score a hat-trick at Camp Nou since Ferenc Puskas in 1963. The France forward is also the first Madrid player to net an El Clasico hat-trick since Chile’s Ivan Zamorano in 1995.


Barca, bidding for a fourth successive Clasico victory this season, looked set for the final given they had a 1-0 win in the first leg of the semi-final in Madrid last month. But after dominating the early stages of the second leg, they fell apart to lose 4-1 on aggregate.

Vinicius Jr gave Real the lead in first-half stoppage time following a lightning counter-attack. The game was turned on its head when Benzema stroked a shot into the corner five minutes into the second half from a Luka Modric pass.

Eight minutes later, Vinicius was fouled in the area and Benzema thumped his penalty past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

With jeers echoing around Camp Nou, Barcelona tried to respond but it was Madrid who looked the more likely to add to their tally with Benzema unstoppable.

In the 80th minute, he was again set up by Vinicius to complete his second hat-trick in a matter of days having also hit a treble in the 6-0 destruction of Real Valladolid.

Real will be favourites to win the trophy for the 20th time when they face Osasuna in the final on May 6.

After suffering so much at the hands of Barcelona this season, this was a spectacular riposte by Carlo Ancelotti’s side as Real beat Barcelona by at least a four-goal margin for the first time since 1995.

Real are a distant second behind Barca in the La Liga. But they have at least regained some bragging rights. Reuters

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