Real Madrid CF v Atletico de Madrid - Copa Del Rey Quarter Final

Ranking Real Madrid's 5 best players against Atletico Madrid | Copa del Rey 2022-23

Real Madrid recorded a stunning 3-1 comeback win over noisy neighbors Atletico Madrid to progress to the semi-finals of the 2022-23 Copa del Rey on Thursday night (26 January). With their victory at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Los Blancos joined Osasuna, Barcelona and Athletic Club in the final four of the prestigious Spanish Cup.

The Whites looked comfortable on the ball in the opening exchanges, finding each other effortlessly with crisp passes. Atletico Madrid were happy to concede possession as they looked to hold firm at the back. However, a mistake from Thomas Lemar in the ninth minute disrupted the visitors’ sanctity.


Vinicius Jr. swiftly took the ball from Lemar, played a one-two with Karim Benzema, and was poised to go for goal. Reinildo Mandava anticipated trouble and produced a clinical sliding tackle to take the ball away from the Brazilian.

Ten minutes after weathering a scare, Los Rojiblancos got themselves ahead, courtesy of a slick passing move. Koke found Nahuel Molina with an inch-perfect lobbed pass on the right. The left-back came in and squared it off to former Real Madrid man Alvaro Morata at the far post, who made no mistake turning the ball in.

Vuelve las noches mágicas del BERNABÉU… @realmadrid

Real Madrid had the perfect opportunity to respond through Eder Militao in the 31st minute. Unfortunately, for the hosts, the defender failed to direct his header, which came from a Toni Kroos free kick, on target.

In the 58th minute, Real Madrid skipper Benzema dispatched a fine effort at goal from outside the box. Fully stretched, Atletico Madrid’s in-form goalkeeper Jan Oblak kept the effort out with his right arm. Having knocked on the door for a while, the home team equalized in sensational fashion in the 79th minute.


Receiving the ball from Luka Modric, substitute Rodrygo went on a mazy run, beating the left side of the Atletico Madrid defense before finding the back of the net. With the scoreline level at 1-1, the game went into extra time.

Atletico defender Stefan Savic needlessly brought Eduardo Camavinga down on the left flank in the 99th minute, drawing a red card. Playing with 10 men, the visitors went behind in the 104th minute, with Benzema tapping home Marco Asensio's pass, via a Vinicius Jr. deflection, from point-blank range.

Vinicius Jr. scored Real Madrid’s final goal of the game in injury time, cutting in from the left flank, shuffling past multiple defenders, and beating Oblak with a low shot.

After a drab first half, Real Madrid showed their true colors, claiming a well-deserved victory through grit and teamwork. Here are five players who stood out in their impressive derby win on Thursday:


#5 Dani Ceballos

Real Madrid CF v Atletico de Madrid - Copa Del Rey Quarter Final

Substitute Dani Ceballos extended his purple patch with a reassuring display against Atletico. The Spaniard operated down the left-inside channel, feeding Vinicius Junior time and time again and looking for ways to unlock the Atletico defense. His long balls were clinical, he was not shy to put in a tackle, and carried the ball with grace as well.

In the Copa del Rey quarter-final, Ceballos made four key passes, attempted four tackles, delivered three accurate long balls, won seven ground duels, and drew two fouls. He also played the pass that led to Vinicius Jr.’s goal toward the end of the game.


#4 Eder Militao

Real Madrid CF v Atletico de Madrid - Copa Del Rey Quarter Final

Eder Militao was Real Madrid’s most impressive defender against their local rivals. The Brazilian was assertive in possession, cleared the danger without hesitation, rarely misplaced a pass, and was formidable in duels. Militao practically single-handedly made sure Atletico were not getting a free pass at Thibaut Courtois’ goal.

On Thursday night, Militao performed seven clearances, intercepted a pass, won six duels, and attempted a tackle. Additionally, he completed 117 passes (97.5% accuracy), delivered four accurate long balls, and drew two fouls.

#3 Eduardo Camavinga

Real Madrid CF v Atletico de Madrid - Copa Del Rey Quarter Final

Eduardo Camavinga was a livewire on the pitch on Thursday. As a defensive midfielder, he intercepted threatening passes, carried the ball forward, and looked to spread play from deep. He shifted to a left-wingback role after Ferland Mendy came off injured in the 44th minute and impressed there with his link-up play, helping the Whites unlock their rivals.

Against Atletico, Camavinga played a key pass, won a game-high 12 ground duels, completed 79 passes (90.8% accuracy), made two interceptions, and pulled off a dribble. He also drew a whopping eight fouls, one of which got Savic his marching orders.

#2 Vinicius Jr.

Real Madrid CF v Atletico de Madrid - Copa Del Rey Quarter Final

Atletico Madrid fans left no stone unturned in taunting Vinicius Jr. on Thursday night. They brought an inflatable doll image of the winger hanging from a bridge in Madrid and directed chants at him all night. The Brazilian took it upon himself to reply on the pitch, with him scoring a memorable solo goal and then dancing in celebration.


In the 121st minute, Vinicius went on a run from the halfway line. He went past two defenders before nutmegging Reinildo with a low, clinical shot. Oblak, with his view obstructed by the fullback, failed to keep his effort out.

Vinicius won't stop celebrating 🕺

The goal and deflected assist to Benzema aside, Vinicius played a game-high five key passes, pulled off four dribbles, won 11 ground duels, and drew four fouls.

#1 Rodrygo

RB Leipzig v Real Madrid: Group F - UEFA Champions League

Coach Carlo Ancelotti brought Rodrygo off the bench in the 69th minute. Ten minutes later, he scored one of the best goals of the season. Picking up the ball 30 yards outside goal, he skipped past four defenders before shuffling to the left and applying a Modric-esque outside-the-boot finish.

Hola, ¿qué tal? Soy el chico de las remontadas...
@RodrygoGoes | #CopaDelRey

Rodrygo was too hot to handle for the visitors, with him winning all three of his ground duels, pulling off two dribbles, and playing two key passes. He also drew a foul, completed 31 passes (91.2% accuracy), and made a clearance.

Edited by
Sushan Chakraborty
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