Alexander Isak destroyed Real Madrid
In a breathless night of football, Real Sociedad destroyed Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, winning 3-4 in the Copa del Rey.
The result dumps Los Blancos out at the quarter-final stage and sees La Real advance to the semi-finals for the first time since 2014. Who were the winners and losers?
Eritrean Swede striker came into this blockbuster tie at the Bernabeu in impressive form. Five goals in his previous four games, including a brace in the previous round of the Copa against Osasuna, had him 11 goals in 26 appearances for the season.
In the first-half at the Bernabeu it looked like that scoring streak was coming to an end as Isak missed a host of half-chances to punish Los Blancos on the break. He never seemed able to get himself under control and hurt the slack Madrid defending (although it was his shot that was spilled for the opening goal) but at half-time that all changed.
Isak came out of the break a changed man and he absolutely destroyed Madrid in the second-half. Moving into key spaces with more authority and crucially, finding that finishing touch.
After a supreme cross from half-time sub Ander Barrenetxea, Isak reached his long leg up into the sky and volleyed the ball superbly into the back of the net. It was the kind of impossibly dexterous effort that only someone with Isak’s exact proportion and technique could pull off.
His second effort was a more straightforward smack, putting his foot through the ball and driving it hard into the roof of the net to double his tally and put the game beyond Real Madrid. And then just as Madrid were mounting a comeback, Isak struck again but this time with a delicious cross that Mikel Merino converted to make it 1-4. Isak’s dominant performance is sure to turn heads and La Real will be relieved it came a week into February and not a week into January, otherwise clubs would be after him.