Bale stunner claims Cup win for Real over Barca
17 April 2014, 08:10
Valencia - Gareth Bale raced clear to score a stunning late winner as Real Madrid made light of the absence of top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo to beat arch-rivals Barcelona 2-1 to win the Spanish King's Cup on Wednesday.
Wales winger Bale, who joined Real for a world record fee in the close season, sped down the left wing into the penalty area in the 85th minute at Valencia's Mestalla stadium and slipped the ball superbly between the legs of Barca goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto.
Angel Di Maria had put Real ahead in the 11th minute when he finished off a swift break before Marc Bartra headed in from Xavi's corner in the 68th to make it 1-1.
Barca had a chance to send the match into extra time in the 89th minute when Neymar found space in the area but his stabbed effort crashed back off a post.
"I think the team played a fabulous match tonight in a very entertaining game," Real captain Iker Casillas said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster TVE.
"We are happy for all the fans who came here to Valencia tonight," added the Spain keeper, who was beaten only once, by Bartra's goal, in nine matches in this season's Cup.
"Now we have to enjoy this moment and think about the league and the Champions League."
It was Real's 19th victory in Spain's domestic Cup competition, seven fewer than record winners Barca, and their second in four years after they beat the Catalan club 1-0 in the 2011 showpiece.
Carlo Ancelotti's Real side still have a chance of becoming only the second team after Barca in 2009 to win a treble of La Liga, Champions League and King's Cup titles in one season.
They are second in the domestic league, three points behind leaders Atletico Madrid with five games left, and play holders Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of Europe's elite club competition this month.
For Barca a nightmare week comes to an end when they were dumped out of Europe by Atletico and suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Granada in La Liga that left them four points off the top.
Portugal captain Ronaldo missed the match due to knee and thigh muscle problems in his left leg but Real expect him to be fit to face Bayern.