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Atletico defeats Real Madrid 4-2 in additional time to secure place in Copa quarterfinals a week after Super Cup defeat


Madrid (AP) — Atletico Madrid emerged victorious against Real Madrid this time, prevailing over its crosstown rival 4-2 in extra time on Thursday to progress to the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.

Antoine Griezmann and Rodrigo Riquelme found the net after a 2-2 draw in regulation time, propelling Atletico to the last eight shortly after succumbing to Madrid in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia less than a week ago.

Atletico once again excelled at home, having already defeated Madrid in the first Spanish league derby of the season back in September, which was the sole loss for its rival this season. Atletico remains unbeaten in 25 consecutive matches at its Metropolitano stadium across all competitions, with only two draws since a 1-0 league defeat to Barcelona in January 2023.

Defending champion Madrid had knocked out Atletico in the Copa quarterfinals last season, securing a 3-1 victory in extra time at home. The city rivals are set to face off again on Feb. 4 — marking the third encounter in less than a month — in the Spanish league at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Madrid emerged victorious with a 5-3 win in extra time in the Super Cup semifinals last Wednesday.

Griezmann sealed Atletico’s triumph this time with a splendid goal after making a run through the right side of the area. The France international, Atletico’s leading goal scorer with 175 goals, maneuvered past Madrid forward Vinícius Júnior before slotting the ball into the top corner from a tight angle.

“It was an incredible goal, perhaps one of his finest,” Madrid coach Diego Simeone commented. “We played an exceptional match and the players gave their all against a top opponent. It was a remarkable match.”

Riquelme confirmed Atletico’s victory from inside the area on a breakaway in the 119th minute after an assist by Memphis Depay.

Atletico had taken the lead with a goal from close range by Samuel Lino after Madrid defender Antonio Rüdiger inadvertently deflected the ball backward into the area in the 39th minute. Madrid leveled after a rare mistake by Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who inadvertently punched the ball into his own net while attempting to clear a cross.

Álvaro Morata put Atletico back in the lead from close range in the 57th minute after Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin failed to fully clear a cross. The ball ricocheted off Rüdiger and landed towards Morata in front of an open net.

Forward Joselu, who replaced Rodrygo in the 80th minute, equalized with a header in the 82nd minute after a cross from Jude Bellingham. Morata had missed a clear chance in a one-on-one situation with Lunin just moments earlier.

Brahim Díaz believed he had scored an equalizer late in extra time, but the goal was disallowed due to an offside by Bellingham.

Bellingham struck the crossbar early in the first half, and Rodrygo hit the woodwork in the second half.

Madrid went on to clinch the Spanish Super Cup with a 4-1 triumph against Barcelona in the final on Sunday, although there was no guard of honor from Atletico before the match at the Metropolitano.

According to reports from The Athletic and various Spanish media outlets, some Atletico fans directed racial abuse at Vinícius by calling him a monkey before the game. The Brazil international had previously been subjected to racial abuse by Atletico fans at other derbies, including an incident where some hung an effigy of the player from a highway bridge last year.

Simeone engaged in a heated exchange with Vinícius at the end of regulation time. The coach appeared to be displeased with Vinícius’ celebration following Joselu’s goal. Vinícius also appeared to have a confrontation with one of the ball boys at the Metropolitano.

“It was a highly competitive match, he was involved in numerous duels, and sometimes you struggle to keep your composure,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti expressed in reference to Vinícius. “I think it’s understandable.”

Ancelotti’s Madrid entered the game on an unbeaten streak of 21 matches in all competitions, with 17 victories and four draws.

BARCELONA PROGRESSES

Barcelona picked up the pace in the second half to secure a 3-1 victory against third-division club Unionistas in their round-of-16 match.

It marks the second consecutive appearance in the last eight for the Catalan club, which faced pressure following the defeat in the Spanish Super Cup final against Madrid.

After being deadlocked at 1-1 at halftime, Barcelona showed improvement in the second half to secure the win with goals from Jules Koundé and Alejandro Balde.

The hosts initially took the lead with a spectacular one-time strike by Álvaro Gómez in the 31st minute before Ferran Torres equalized for Barcelona on a breakaway in the 45th minute. Koundé found the net with a long-range shot in the 69th minute, and Balde sealed the victory with a strike from a tight angle in the 73rd minute.

“After a tough loss in the Super Cup, we needed to bounce back,” Koundé remarked. “It wasn’t easy, they have a strong team and were highly motivated.”

Unionistas had several opportunities to narrow the gap towards the end, but Barcelona goalkeeper Iñaki Peña made some crucial saves to maintain the comfortable lead at the 5,000-capacity Reina Sofia Stadium.

Barcelona defender Pau Cubarsí, 16, made his first-team debut by entering the match after halftime to replace Andreas Christensen.

Unionistas had eliminated Villarreal on penalties in the previous round.

___

AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer





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