Real ease past OsasunaAgence France-Presse . Madrid
Real Madrid took a huge step towards the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey with a 2-0 win over Osasuna in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Thursday.
Karim Benzema got the hosts off to the perfect start when he headed in Luka Modric’s cross after 19 minutes.
Jese Rodriguez then gave Madrid breathing space in the tie when he chipped home Cristiano Ronaldo’s pass after half-time.
And Madrid were only denied a third in comic circumstances moments later as Ronaldo deflected Gareth Bale’s goal-bound effort behind.
Ancelotti named a strong side with Bale returning to the starting line-up for the first time in four games following a calf injury.
Despite failing to find the net, the Welshman showed flashes of his best form in the second-half and Ancelotti is confident he will go from strength to strength having completed the 90 minutes.
Jese was also given a rare chance from the start and he thought he had won his side a penalty on 16 minutes when he went down under a challenge from Osasuna goalkeeper Asier Riesgo.
However, after originally pointing to the spot, referee Jesus Perez Montero reversed his decision and harshly booked Jese for diving.
Minutes later Madrid were in front as Benzema flicked home Modric’s free-kick to register his 99th goal for the club.
Ronaldo passed up a great chance to double the advantage when he fired straight at Riesgo after a lovely scooped pass from Bale as Madrid began the second-half with more purpose than they ended the first.
And the hosts took advantage of some woeful Osasuna defending to make it 2-0 just before the hour mark as Benzema and Ronaldo combined to tee up Jese to loft the ball over Riesgo.
That was to be the Spanish international’s last major involvement as he pulled up injured shortly afterwards and was replaced by Isco.
Bale should then have had his first goal since November as his goal-bound shot from Benzema’s cut-back was deflected behind by Ronaldo.
But despite failing to add to their tally Madrid will be strong favourites to set up a quarter-final meeting with Alcorcon or Espanyol when they travel to Pamplona for the second leg next Wednesday.
comments powered by Disqus
Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra obtained their first win in the Bangladesh Premier League as they snatched a 2-1 victory over Team BJMC at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Friday. Muktijoddha, who... Full story
Central Zone skipper Mahmudullah said on Friday that the second edition of the longer-version Bangladesh Cricket League, scheduled to start on Sunday, will once again be competitive with the country’s top 60 cricketers in action. Full story
Usha Krira Chakra will bring in four Indian players to boost their team strength before the UCBL Club Cup Hockey final, a team official said on Friday. Usha have signed Azitesh Roy, Roshon... Full story
World number one Rafael Nadal will play rising Australian star Bernard Tomic in the opening round of the Australian Open in Melbourne. The Spaniard, who won the tournament in 2009 and missed last year’s opening Grand... Full story
Seasoned batsmen Younis Khan and Misbah-ul Haq hit resolute half-centuries to take the fight to Sri Lanka in the second Test in Dubai on Friday. Younis was unbeaten on 62 and Misbah scored 52 not out to help... Full story
Denver and New York both pulled out wins against the odds on Thursday, continuing their recent form improvements at the expense of Oklahoma City and Miami respectively. Denver’s Randy Foye scored a season-high 24... Full story
Afghanistan’s Under-19 cricket side arrives in Pakistan this weekend to train with the hosts’ elite academy coaches in preparation for next month’s World Cup. The Afghans will train at the National Cricket ... Full story
England go into the opening one-day international in Melbourne on Sunday desperate to salvage some pride, but face a torrid task with a fired-up Australia vowing no let-up after dominating the Ashes. The first of five matches, a... Full story
Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill announced on Friday she is pregnant and will miss the Commonwealth Games. ‘I am sorry I won’t be in Glasgow for the Commonwealth... Full story
South Africa wicketkeeper AB de Villiers will undergo hand surgery on Friday, but is expected to be fit for the upcoming series against Australia, a Cricket South Africa spokesman said on Thursday. De Villiers will have... Full story
Real Madrid took a huge step towards the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey with a 2-0 win over Osasuna in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Thursday. Karim Benzema got the hosts off to the perfect start when he... Full story
Manchester United will look for immediate revenge against Swansea City today, a week after the Welsh club pulled off a shock victory at Old Trafford in the FA Cup. Having lost to Tottenham Hotspur, in the league, and... Full story
Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure landed his third successive African Footballer of the Year award on Thursday to cap a memorable week. The Manchester City player edged out Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel and... Full story
Four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi could make his first start in two months as Barcelona travel to face Atletico Madrid in a top of the table clash today. Both sides are locked on 49 points having dropped just five... Full story
Roma beat Sampdoria 1-0 in the last 16 of the Italian Cup on Thursday to set up a quarter-final meeting with Juventus. Greek international full-back Vasilis Torosidis scored the only goal of the game with just six minutes played at the Stadio Olimpico as Roma bounced... Full story
Liverpool’s Luis Suarez added the Premier League Player of the Month award to his list of credits on Friday with manager Brendan Rodgers saying working with the Uruguayan goal machine would ‘stay with me for a lifetime’. Full story
World footballer of the year Lionel Messi may be out of reach for Bahia, but the Brazilian top-flight side have signed two of his cousins instead. On Thursday, the club from Salvador de Bahia paraded new recruits... Full story
Nigeria slams CAF vote Top Nigerian officials on Friday criticised the procedure used to determine the CAF African Player of the Year after John Obi Mikel lost out to Ivorian star Yaya Toure. The national team coaches of the 54 member countries vote for 10... Full story