London: Spanish giants Real Madrid has won the Copa del Rey tournament for a 19th time, moving them within seven of record winners Barcelona, whom they defeated 2-1 in the finals on Wednesday.
Gareth Bale celebrates after his stunning goal. Pic/ AFP
The domestic cup loss was a bitter blow for Barcelona, who have endured a miserable season by their own high standards, with a series of off-the-field troubles compounding their below-par performances on the pitch.
Real Madrid took an early lead when Angel Di Maria fired into the bottom corner and although Barcelona levelled through Marc Bartra's second-half header Gareth Bale's stunning individual goal five minutes from time swung a delicately-balanced final in favour of Carlo Ancelotti's side at a crucial stage.
The reigning Spanish champions are third in La Liga, four points adrift of leaders Atletico and one behind Real, with five games remaining and were eliminated from the Champions League by Atletico last week, the report added.