In one of the most stunning upsets of the year, Atletico Madrid defeated Real Madrid by a score of 2-1 to win the 2013 Copa del Rey. This marked the first time Atletico Madrid had defeated their rivals since 1999, which has inevitably led to questions surrounding Real Madrid leader Cristiano Ronaldo.
The question is, how did Ronaldo perform with the Copa del Rey on the line?
Entering the game, I made the claim that Ronaldo's legacy was on the line, as there was no excuse for losing this game. After watching it all transpire, however, my opinion has changed on the issue.
As has been the case in a strong majority of his international and club games, Ronaldo was magnificent—this time, there just wasn't enough support.
This loss wasn't just a display of lackluster results, but an inability to capitalize on opportunities. From shots off of the post to senseless penalties, Real Madrid failed to execute in the manner expected of them.
So how did Ronaldo's day transpire?
Cristiano Ronaldo wasted no time in putting his squad on the board, scoring in the 14th minute. Coming off of a cross, Ronaldo entered the box, out-muscled his defender and sent a header into the left corner of the net.
Just like that, it was 1-0 Real Madrid.
Ronaldo has now netted at least one goal in nine of his past 12 games with Real Madrid. He has 34 goals and 10 assists in 34 games, which displays how dominant he's been.
Unfortunately, one goal wasn't enough here.
Ronaldo had other opportunities, even drawing the post on a goal attempt that everyone watching expected to see fly into the back of the net. Ronaldo even found Karim Benzema in position to score, but he failed to convert.
For that reason, we certainly cannot knock what he managed to do—you know, what his teammates couldn't.
During stoppage time of the second half, Cristiano Ronaldo made what proved to be a costly mistake. In the first of two major gaffes, Ronaldo drew a yellow card and thus displayed the high tensions in this clash.
It only got worse in extra time.
In the 114th minute, Ronaldo was caught up with Atletico Madrid captain Gabi. After falling to the ground, Ronaldo appeared to throw a kick—although the intent is questionable—and thus caught Gabi in the face.
After some Oscar-worthy acting by Gabi, that was enough for the referees to hit Ronaldo with his second penalty—a red card.
Regardless of the acting, it wasn't too stunning to see Ronaldo sent off for this offense. With that being said, one has to wish that Ronaldo would keep his cool and thus give his squad the opportunity to come back for the win.
When you pair the production with the penalties, however, one thing is clear—Ronaldo is not to blame for Real Madrid's defeat.