Real Madrid is in the semi-finals of the Spanish Football Cup after a feat of strength. With a goal in the first half of extra time, Karim Benzema led the Royals to a late 3-1 (1-1, 0-0) in the explosive city derby against Atlético Madrid on Thursday evening. The Frenchman scored in the 104th minute at home and turned the quarter-finals around. Atlético took the lead early on through Alvaro Morata (19′) before Rodrygo (79′) saved Real in extra time. Stefan Savic saw the yellow-red card at Atlético shortly before the second goal was conceded (99th). Vinicius Junior (120+1) provided the final point.
Former international Toni Kroos, who started and was substituted in the 74th minute, still has a chance of winning his first Copa del Rey. The 33-year-old has never reached the final in this competition with Real. When his club last won the cup in 2014, he was still under contract with FC Bayern. The draw against whom it is now in the semifinals will be drawn on Friday. FC Barcelona, Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao are also in the semi-finals.
A tasteless action by alleged fans had caused great outrage in Spain before the Madrid derby. On a bridge in the capital the night before the game, unknown persons hung a life-size doll, which was supposed to represent the Brazilian striker Vinicius Jr. A large poster was placed above it with the inscription: “Madrid hates Real”. The action met with fierce criticism. The players’ union AFE, human rights organizations and other bodies announced legal action.
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