“KARIM THE DREAM” – Real Madrid win their first Clásico of 2023 and knock Barça out of the Copa del Rey

Karim Benzema destroyed Barcelona’s defense as Real Madrid won 4-0 at Camp Nou to reach the Spanish Cup final.

The only doubt left by his blistering performance is whether he scored three or four. He looked to have touched the first after it had crossed the line but there was no doubt about goals two, three, and four.

Barcelona fans chanted Lionel Messi’s name for ten minutes but this showing a 35-year-old forward is not what this team leads to winning the big knockout matches – even if he is the greatest in history.

They were slow all over the pitch. Robert Lewandowski offered almost no threat – he has three more years left on his contract. Sergio Busquets looked even more off the pace as an energetic and fired-up Madrid ran riot in midfield.

The absence of Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, and Ousmane Dembele was noticeable, and Andreas Christensen was also missing. However, this match served as further proof that despite their admirable performance in the league, which will crown them as champions, they have consistently fallen short throughout the season in major cup matches both domestically and in Europe.

On the other hand, Madrid has an experienced team, but they proved their worth once again when it mattered most. Despite trailing 1-0 from the first leg, they were deserving of their resounding victory in the game, as their engine revved menacingly.

Just before half-time, they drew level on aggregate when Rodrygo outmatched Marcos Alonso on a swift counter-attack and passed the ball to Vinicius. The Brazilian exchanged passes with Benzema inside the Barcelona box and managed to squeeze his shot over the line, despite Jules Kounde’s valiant efforts. Although Benzema was there to make sure, Vinicius claimed the goal and celebrated by turning to the fans who had heckled him during the first half.

Watch 1st Goal of Madrid

It came no more than 20 seconds after Barcelona thought they had taken the lead only for Thibaut Courtois to save brilliantly from Lewandowski.

Madrid were fired up by the goal and surrounded the referee Jose Luis Martinez Munuera when he blew time on three added minutes just as they were counter-attacking.

The first half had already shown signs of tension, and it was not the only instance where things threatened to boil over.

Xavi received a yellow card for protesting outside of his technical area, claiming that a foul against Franck Kessie had been ignored, while one for Vinicius was awarded immediately after. Xavi was fortunate not to receive another booking and be sent off when he seemed to confront the fourth official.

Gavi clattered into Vinicius and the Brazilian retaliated grabbing him from behind. Both were booked. Eder Militao was lucky not to be booked for going through Lewandowski from behind. Luka Modric also clashed off the ball with Kessie but they made up without any need for more cards from Munuera.


Real Madrid wasted no time in the second half, as they scored their second goal on their first attack. Militao easily dispossessed Busquets, and Modric took the ball forward, leaving Sergio Roberto behind. Benzema then received Modric’s pass and finished with a first-time strike, putting Madrid ahead on aggregate.

Watch 2nd Goal

Real Madrid scored their third goal just before the hour mark, with the outstanding Kessie making a rare mistake by fouling Vinicius in the box. Benzema stepped up and converted the resulting penalty, increasing Madrid’s aggregate lead to 3-1. Suddenly, there were fewer doubts about which team would reach the final, and more about who would be credited with the first goal.

Watch 3rd Goal

Real Madrid looked increasingly likely to score on every counter-attack, and with nine minutes left, Benzema found the back of the net once more. Vinicius provided another superb pass, which Benzema gratefully accepted to score his 3rd of the night.


The Brazilian had helped the number nine destroy Barcelona but he is developing a self-destructive side to his game too and he clashed with Araujo who was booked and was taken off by Ancelotti fearing him might be sent off.

It didn’t spoil Madrid’s best night of the season – they were facing the Champions in waiting and they had marmalized them on their own turf.

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