Real Madrid are locked at 1-1 with their local rivals Atletico Madrid after the first half of their Copa del Rey final at the Bernabeu.
Cristiano Ronaldo gave Madrid the early lead as Los Blancos looked to continue their incredible 25 match unbeaten streak against their neighbors. But Atletico showed plenty of spirit to come back into the match and grab an equalizer through Brazilian forward Diego Costa.
It was Madrid that had the better of the opening exchanges with Atletico sitting back, but there was little in the way of a threat on goal until Ronaldo popped up with his 55th goal of another incredible season.
From Mesut Ozil’s in-swinging corner in the 14th minute, Ronaldo escaped the attentions of his marker Diego Godin before rising comfortably above Radamel Falcao and planting a typically powerful header past Thibaut Courtois.
Gabi soon had Atletico’s first effort on target with a powerful drive from 25 yards that just rose over Diego Lopez’s cross bar.
But Atletico were gradually establishing a foothold in the contest. There was little in the way of attacking impetus, though, with their most promising situations coming from free-kicks around the box.
Yet in the 35th minute, Atletico finally created an opening and they took full advantage. Falcao this time played provider as he held off two Madrid players with his back to goal inside his own half before turning and playing an astute through ball to get his forward partner away. Diego Costa breezed past Essien prior to finishing with a clinical low left-footed shot back across Lopez.
The goal reawakened Madrid and Jose Mourinho’s side could have gone into the interval in front, but Mesut Ozil’s strike came back off the inside of the post.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.