Real Madrid: Los Blancos can push forward after Copa del Rey victory at the Mestalla
But Barcelona are in grave danger of winning nothing this term
By Gerry Armstrong
Last Updated: 17/04/14 11:27am
Gareth Bale's stunning solo effort five minutes from time fired Real to a 2-1 victory over Barcelona on Wednesday night and they are right in contention to add to their trophy haul over the coming weeks.
Carlo Ancelotti's men meet Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals, while they are just three points behind city rivals Atletico in the race for the La Liga title.
Sky Sports pundit Armstrong feels Real - who were without Cristiano Ronaldo for the Copa del Rey showpiece - will now be buoyant, but fears for Barcelona, who could end up trophy-less for the first time since 2008.
"Real played a better game tactically and not only am I pleased for Bale in his first season, I am also pleased for Ancelotti because he has worked hard this season and had pressure on him," said Armstrong.
"Real's momentum can carry on into the league and Champions League and they have Ronaldo to come back, so their confidence is going to be sky high.
"They can say: 'We've beaten Barcelona so let's go and beat Bayern Munich and [win the league]' and I think their season is going to go down to the wire.
"Lionel Messi, though, looks dejected to me - his body language hasn't been good for weeks. He doesn't seem happy at the moment, for whatever reason; and he is not getting on the ball enough.
"Barcelona are not creating enough clear-cut chances either and they have now lost three games in a row - though I'm not sure the goals against Real would have gone in with Victor Valdes in goal.
"Plus, it's been written in the press that [manager] Tata Martino is heading back to Argentina and that is the most likely scenario for me.
"Barcelona are going to end up with nothing but they need to take it on the chin and regroup."
Former Barcelona utility man Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who watched the Copa del Rey final with Armstrong in the Sky Sports studio, added: "Real deserved to win over the course of the whole game.
"In the second half, Barcelona got better and Messi was more involved in the game but they had possession and never shot on goal, while if you give Bale the ball in space, you know he is going to punish you.
"We thought this might be the match where Bale was vital and he was."