Pundits & Commentators
MB: Mark Bolton
GH: Graham Hunter
GM: Gaizka Mendieta
RP: Rob Palmer
GB: Guillem Balague
MB: Welcome to the 2014/2015 Copa Del Rey final between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid live here on Sky Sports 2. We have what promises to be an exciting game in store for you as we introduce our guests for today. Joining us will be the usual suspect Guillem Balague and a Basque man at heart with beautiful blonde hair, he also wasn’t a bad footballer in his day, it’s Gaizka Mendieta!
Let’s get straight to it then. We are moments away from kick-off. Gaizka, what will the players be thinking as they warm up right now?
GM: Well, you’ll get the usual nervous players. I think it’s normal in any occasion for everyone in the stadium to be a little nervous. No matter how good you are or your team is, only very, very few players manage to keep completely cool. Right now, I speak from experience; the players will be focusing on the game completely, imagining scenarios and what they will do. If anybody is in danger of boiling under the pressure today, it will be Real Madrid I think, because they are favourites.
MB: This is the third time in a row Athletic Bilbao has made it into the final. Can it be third time lucky for them or will it be they who crumble under the pressure?
GB: Of course being here again will play on Bilbao’s minds but as Gaizka said, it is Real Madrid who we all expect will win so it is they who will have to deliver. Bilbao will just give it their best shot because deep down they know who is likely to win. By doing that however, Bilbao won’t be no pushovers. They aren’t scared of anybody and have beaten Madrid before. With Real Madrid eyeing up the La Liga title, there is definitely the chance Bilbao can take this from Madrid’s grasp.
MB: Sticking with Bilbao, there has been much talk about the unhappiness of Ander Iturraspe and how he doesn’t like the way he is led out by the manager. What do you think about these comments and how may that affect the squad.
GB: It’s uncalled for isn’t it? Bilbao has made better progress since last season, they have played good football and Iturraspe drops the bomb weeks away from the final. I think this problem should not have come out as it did and I believe it may have stemmed a few months ago too. Notice how many times Iturraspe has played for Bilbao since 2012 compared to the last month to month and a half. The fans are disappointed and it’s really sad to see such an important player have these kinds of problems at a crucial point in the season.
MB: Have we seen the last of Iturraspe in a Bilbao shirt Gaizka?
GM: Well, I’m not sure. Ideally, Oceano would have used him today but I don’t know exactly how much he’s dived into the case. He seemed very upset with the accusations which would suggest Iturraspe is finished here at Bilbao. But he remains a vital part of this team and how it functions. Oceano will know that better than anyone so he could play today even.
MB: We shall find out soon if Iturraspe is indeed in the starting 11 for Bilbao. Predictions boys?
GB: 3-1 to Real Madrid in extra time.
GM: I will go for a 1-0 win for Athletic Bilbao.
MB: And with that, we send you other to our commentators for today’s final, Rob Palmer and Graham Hunter.
RP: Thank you Mark. You’ve handed it over just in time for the line-ups. Let’s have a look…
A few changes in the Real Madrid side as Diego Lopez starts and Derik replaces the injured Raphael Varane. Routine side from Madrid other than that whereas Athletic Bilbao have no Ander Iturraspe. In fact, he hasn’t even made the 18 man squad for today.
GH: Which shows just how much friction there is at the moment at Bilbao. Will that cost Oceano’s team? We shall see but Varane’s absence will also be a big miss for Real Madrid.
RP: Well the stage is set, the teams are ready and we are UNDERAWAY HERE FOR THE COPA DEL REY FINAL!
2 – Arteta spreads the play out wide to Ramalho. The full back whips it in early and ADURIZ!!!! 34 YEAR OLD ARITZ ADURIZ HAS LAUNCHED BILBAO IN FRONT WITH A GUIDING HEADER!!!!
GH: What a leap from Aduriz and it’s all him for this goal. Ramalho has space out wide and puts in a decent cross. Aduriz found the space in between Derik and Ramos and powered a header perfectly out of Diego Lopez’s reach. Superb start for Bilbao!!!
8 – Antoine Griezmann plays the one two with Arteta… buts miss controls it. He keeps the ball and fizzes it IN!!!! WHAT A SAVE FROM DIEGO LOPEZ!!!!
GH: That is!!! Bilbao have come out of the blocks steaming here as Raul Garcia drives a fantastic volley low and hard inside the box. Lopez gets down well and keeps Real Madrid in it. Madrid need to wake up here!
10 – Modric takes the corner for Madrid. Ekiza clears it away but it falls to ISCOOOOO!!!!! REAL MADRID HAVE THE EQUALISER THROUGH ISCO!!!!
GH: Great finish from Isco. A curling effort from the Spaniard just outside the box. Bilbao failed to close him down in time and perhaps the keeper Ruffier could have done better there. Not that Real Madrid will care!
12 – Isco beats Arteta for pace here. He works it with Tevez and he manages to get behind Bilbao’s defence! ISCO THROUGH ON GOAL! ISCO SCORES!!!! REAL MADRID HAVE TURNED THIS AROUND WITHIN MINUTES!!!!!
GH: What. A. Game. Absolutely terrific from both sides so far and there we have it, 3 goals within the first 12 minutes. Non-stop action.
40 – Lopez takes the goal kick. Tevez wins the header and goes for seconds. Still Tevez who slips ISCO THROUGH!!! SAVED BY RUFFIER!!!
GH: Isco perhaps should score there! He tried to curl it around Ruffier but the Frenchman was alert to the possibility.
HT – It’s half time in the Copa Del Rey final. An eventful start to the game eventually fizzled out towards the latter stages of the half. Real Madrid lead Athletic Bilbao 2-1.
45 – Bilbao get us underway for the second half of the Copa Del Rey final. It will be now or never for them.
46 – Monreal plays it in-field to Arteta. Mikel Arteta runs out of options here and opts for the simple pass to De Marcos. Antoine Griezmann finds some space here however as De Marcos squeezes it through to him. The cross….. AND IT’S IN BY RAUL GARCIA FROM SIX YARDS OUT!!! BILBAO ARE LEVEL!!!
GH: Well that run from Griezmann was the catalyst. He found some space, in behind the Madrid defence, played a cheeky dinked cross in and Garcia will not miss at the back post from there. Better from Bilbao!
48 – Bilbao are adding more pressure here as Susaeta lines up the corner. INIGO MARTINEZ!!! SHOULD SCORE!!!
GH: Oooohh That’s a chance! That is a very good chance!
58 – De Marcos. Looks for Route 1 as Garcia nods it down for ADURIZ!!!!! BILBAO ARE AHEAD ONCE AGAIN!!!! ARITZ ADURIZ WITH THE HALF VOLLEY FROM INSIDE THE BOX!!! POST AND IN!!!
GH: Well where is Madrid in this 2nd half? They dominated for large part of the 1st but they are sloppy once again here!
63 – Play has been stopped here as Markel Susaeta is making some signals towards the dugout. It looks as if he has picked up a knock…. Yes. Susaeta limps off field and will be replaced by Ibai Gomez.
78 – Athletic Bilbao is preparing a change. Iker Muniain will replace Raul Garcia who scored the equaliser and assisted Bilbao’s third goal.
GH: A great performance from the Spaniard. He really gave it his all today and battled for the crest on his shirt. There’s still plenty of time for a Madrid goal but Bilbao fans may be thanking his efforts in 15 minutes or so.
80 – Casemiro is charging forward here! Arteta fails to tackle him as he plays it to TEVEZ!!! Straight at the keeper!
90 – Just THREE minutes separate Oceano Cruz from his first piece of silverware! Three minutes added on by the ref. Can Bilbao hold on? Some fans can’t even bare to watch!
93 – Casemiro rushes to take the throw in as De Marcos dispossesses Alonso and finds Muniain. The Bilbao star takes it into the corner and the ref takes one look at his watch…. IT’S ALL OVER!!! ATHLETIC BILBAO HAS DONE IT AT THE THIRD TIME OF ASKING. 3-2 THE FINAL SCORE. ATHLETIC BILBAO ARE THE COPA DEL REY CHAMPIONS 2014/2015!!!!