Real Madrid vs. Barcelona: Gareth Bale Wins 2014 Copa del Rey Final [Video]

Real Madrid has defeated Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.

It was a memorable night for Gareth Bale, who won the first trophy of his career, after an astonishing sprint that started just inside his own half and ended with the ball in the back of the Barcelona net.  With just seven minutes left Bale scored, and Barcelona were beaten 2-1 in Valencia.

Real Madrid attacked and defended effectively for most of the game. Bale, di Maria, Isco and Benzema were threatening going forward throughout, and helped their teammates remained largely solid in defense.

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 honor of his career.

Real’s triumph condemned Barca to three successive defeats for the first time since January 2003. 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.

The club’s reputation has taken a battering over the past few months following the tax scandal surrounding last summer’s £50m signing of Brazil star Neymar and a Fifa transfer ban for breaking rules on signing teenage players last month, says BBC News.

Standing on the touchline, Real’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, also admired it. “I had the perfect view,” he said. “It was a fantastic goal from an extraordinary player. We’re lucky he plays for Real Madrid.”

“It’s a dream come true, not just because I scored but because of the work of the whole team,” Bale said after his moment of magic won on Wednesday. “It was really special. We’ve won the first of the three available titles and we have to keep fighting for everything. But now we have to be thinking about the next game and nothing else.”

Bale drew Madrid’s attention while at Tottenham after producing stunning goal after stunning goal. He has scored some memorable ones during his first season in Spain too, but none more so than the one to win his first senior trophy.

Meanwhile in England, Manchester City lost ground in the Premier League title race after a 2-2 draw against bottom club Sunderland. The draws leaves City third in the Premier League table and hands the initiative to second-place Chelsea and leaders Liverpool in the battle for the championship.

Both Chelsea and Liverpool know that they will be crowned champions if they win each of their remaining four games, with the two set to meet in what is shaping up to be a title decider on April 27, reports CNN.

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