Home Sports Benzema’s hat-trick help Real Madrid to reach Copa del Rey final

Benzema’s hat-trick help Real Madrid to reach Copa del Rey final

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Karim Benzema scored a second-half hat-trick as Real Madrid routed Barcelona to reach the Copa del Rey final.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Madrid levelled the tie through Vinicius Jr in first-half stoppage time.

Benzema added two goals early in the second half – the second from the penalty spot – to put the visitors in control and completed his hat-trick to seal the win in the 80th minute.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side will face Osasuna in the final on 6 May.

Barcelona had the better of a feisty first half at the Nou Camp, but their best chance led directly to Madrid’s opener in first-half injury time.

After keeper Thibaut Courtois got down smartly to stop Robert Lewandowski’s effort, the away side broke quickly and, after exchanging passes with Benzema, Vinicius squeezed his effort into the bottom corner.

Five minutes after the break, Madrid were in front on aggregate as Luka Modric drove forward and rolled the ball into the path of Benzema, who swept the ball home from the edge of the area.

Xavi’s side were reeling and when Franck Kessie needlessly brought Vinicius down in the box, Benzema sent Marc-Andre ter Stegen the wrong way from the spot to extend the lead.

The France striker got his third with 10 minutes remaining after a devastating Madrid counter, again led by Vinicius, with Barcelona having committed men forward searching for a way back into the tie.

It was Benzema’s second hat-trick in successive games after achieving the feat last Sunday against Real Valladolid.

Los Blancos end Barca’s run of Clasico wins

Going into the second leg a goal down, a distant second in La Liga and having lost the last three Clasico meetings, Madrid had a point to prove.

For much of the first half it looked as though they would end the night with just the Champions League to play for in the remaining two months of the season.

Not bad as consolation prizes go but entering the run-in with only one trophy target is something of a disappointment at the Bernabeu, especially if your fiercest rivals have a treble in sight.

But just when they might have been contemplating that reality, a blistering counter-attack at the end of the opening period changed the game.

Madrid came out after the break with renewed energy and confidence, showing their class in a ruthless second-half display for which Barca had no answer.

The hosts can console themselves with the fact they are closing in on a first league title since 2019, having already won the Spanish Super Cup.

For Ancelotti’s team, though, there is now a dual purpose – the pursuit of back-to-back Champions League wins and a first Copa del Rey triumph in nine years.


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