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Bartra blames his fitness for Bale goal | Hunter

Barcelona news Apr 17, 2014
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Barca urged to bring back Pep | Martino defiant

Barcelona news Apr 17, 2014
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Apr 16, 2014

Ancelotti: Real Madrid deserved to win

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol hands out his grades for Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.

Carlo Ancelotti said Real Madrid "deserved" to win the trophy after guiding his side past Barcelona 2-1 in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday.

Angel Di Maria celebrates after giving Real Madrid the lead against Barcelona.
Angel Di Maria celebrates after giving Real Madrid the lead against Barcelona.

Hunter: Bale vs. Neymar
Delaney: Three Things
Rigg: Hail Bale

With Cristiano Ronaldo watching from the sideline, Real took an early lead through Angel Di Maria before being pegged back by Marc Bartra's header. Gareth Bale scored a dramatic winner in the 85th minute.

"We played at our maximum level," Ancelotti said. "We performed very well for a huge part of the game. I think we deserved it.

"All the players delivered tonight. Ronaldo's injury was an additional motivation for us."

Ancelotti called Bale's goal "surely the most important" of Bale's career, which took a major turn last summer when Madrid broke their own spending record to secure his transfer.

"It was a decisive moment. When Bartra scored anything could have happened," said Ancelotti. "He played well, the entire team played well. You have to play as a compact unit to beat Barcelona."

Real captured their 19th Copa del Rey trophy, and they still face a Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich, as well as a fight with leaders Atletico Madrid for La Liga.

"It's normal that this trophy gives us more confidence going into the final part of the season," Ancelotti said.

Di Maria agreed with his manager that Los Blancos were deserved winners.

"We knew we were doing well, things turned out as we expected," Di Maria said. "We can't ask for more. This is a team, a group. We deserved it after the hard work done during the year."

Ronaldo was the most prominent squad member on the bench, but goalkeeper Iker Casillas dedicated Real Madrid's win to another injured teammate, Jese Rodriguez, who will miss the next five months with a knee injury.

"We're all thinking of a solid bloke, a mate that should have been here -- Jese," Casillas said. "He's having a bad time, this victory is also of his."

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