Real cruise into Cup finalAgence France-Presse . Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice from the penalty spot and was also hit on the head by a lighter thrown from the crowd as Real Madrid sealed their place in the Copa del Rey final with a 2-0 win (5-0 on aggregate) over holders Atletico Madrid.
Any chance of Atletico recovering from their 3-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu last week was extinguished after just seven minutes when Ronaldo opened the scoring after being upended by Manquillo.
The Portuguese star doubled his tally nine minutes later from another penalty as this time Gareth Bale was felled by Emiliano Insua.
Ronaldo’s eventful evening continued as, moments after being booked for a clash with Manquillo, he was then hit by a lighter thrown by the Atletico fans as the players headed to the dressing rooms at half-time.
The Ballon d’Or winner was however fit to continue at the start of the second-half before being substituted late on.
Real will face either Barcelona or Real Sociedad in the final on April 19 with Barca holding a 2-0 advantage heading into the second leg of their semi-final on Wednesday.
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti insisted that Ronaldo was fine after being struck and lauded his side’s feat of reaching the final on the back of eight consecutive clean sheets in the Cup this season.
Atletico boss Diego Simeone appeared to have given up any hope of an unlikely comeback from the off as he rested Juanfran, Diego Godin, Arda Turan and captain Gabi, whilst four more first-team regulars missed out through injury and suspension.
However, despite suffering three defeats in a week, Simeone is hoping for a positive reaction from his side as they too have La Liga and Champions League honours to fight for in the coming weeks.
Ancelotti named a strong side and was rewarded with the away goal that killed the tie off when Ronaldo converted from the spot after tumbling under Manquillo’s clumsy challenge inside the area.
Atletico briefly threatened a revival when Raul Garcia struck the post moments later.
However, it was 2-0 after just 16 minutes as this time Bale went down under a challenge by Insua and Ronaldo again struck the resulting spot-kick low into the right-hand corner of Daniel Aranzubia’s net.
With the tie effectively over as a contest, the only spice was added by unfortunate events off the field as Ronaldo was struck as he headed towards the tunnel at half-time.
The former Manchester United man did return for the second period, but he was unable to complete his hat-trick before being replaced by Jese Rodriguez 15 minutes from time.
Bale and Isco both had efforts well saved by Aranzubia as Real continued to look the more likely to score after the break.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Jose Sosa’s drive that forced Iker Casillas into a flying save was the best that Atletico could muster as they slipped to their first home defeat of the season.
comments powered by Disqus
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza said bad luck was responsible for his side’s defeat against Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20 International at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Wednesday. Full story
A top official of Indian club Mohun Bagan proposed Bangladesh Football Federation president Kazi Salahuddin to organise a tournament in Dhaka featuring the top sides of India and Bangladesh. The official expressed his interest on behalf... Full story
Star all-rounder Sakib al Hasan was sold to the Kolkata Knight Riders for Indian Rs 2.8 crore (Tk 3.5 crore, $450,000) at the Indian Premier League 2014 player auction in Bangalore on Wednesday, while Indians Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Karthik fetched record prices for their services. Full story
Sri Lanka opener Kusal Perera on Wednesday denied that he copied legendary batsman Sanath Jayasuriya’s swashbuckling approach and said that he was just happy being himself. Kusal, who is often compared to... Full story
LeBron James had 25 of his game-high 37 points in the second half and 11 in the final four minutes as the Miami Heat shook off the pesky Phoenix Suns 103-97, reports Reuters. James added nine rebounds and five steals and centre... Full story
Cricket South Africa (CSA) president Chris Nenzani denied on Tuesday that he changed his organisation’s vote or ‘cut deals’ after backing a proposed revamp of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Nenzani cast South Africa’s vote... Full story
The Bangladesh Under-19s beat the England Under-19s by four wickets with nine balls to spare in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday in their final warm-up match before the U-19 World Cup in the UAE. Mosaddek Hossain scored 75 not out off 78 balls... Full story
Shaun Marsh arrived on tour just in time to make a valuable century for Australia and turn around the first day of the opening test against top-ranked South Africa on Wednesday. Initially left out with injury, Marsh recovered... Full story
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice from the penalty spot and was also hit on the head by a lighter thrown from the crowd as Real Madrid sealed their place in the Copa del Rey final with a 2-0 win (5-0 on aggregate) over holders Atletico Madrid. Any chance of Atletico recovering from their 3-0 defeat at the... Full story
Victor Anichebe struck in the 87th minute as West Bromwich Albion prevented Chelsea from opening up a four-point lead in the Premier League in a 1-1 draw on Tuesday. Chelsea were bidding to pull clear of the chasing pack and... Full story
Borussia Dortmund booked their place in the German Cup semi-finals as a header by Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secured a 1-0 win in Tuesday’s last eight clash at Eintracht Frankfurt. Just as injury-hit Borussia’s coach... Full story
Fiorentina scored two sublime goals to beat Udinese 2-0 and reach the Coppa Italia final on Tuesday as their angry opponents had two players sent off after losing their tempers in a dramatic seven minutes of stoppage-time. Udinese, leading 2-1 from the first leg, surrounded... Full story
World Cup finals bound France’s third choice goalkeeper Mickael Landreau is facing five weeks on the sidelines after suffering a calf muscle injury, sources at his Ligue 1 club Bastia revealed on Tuesday. The 34-year-old -- who won two... Full story
Liverpool hope to have a fully fit squad by the end of the month with many of their injured players nearing a return to full fitness, the club’s head of performance Glen Driscoll said on Tuesday. Defenders Daniel Agger and Glen... Full story
Brazilian football legend Pele will return to the New York Cosmos in April for a championship celebration and to accept an honorary degree for humanitarian work, the team said Tuesday. The 73-year-old icon inspired Brazil to... Full story
Former test captain Moin Khan has been appointed Pakistan’s head coach for the Asia Cup and Twenty20 World Cup tournaments in Bangladesh, Pakistani cricket’s new management committee said on Tuesday. The 11-man committee was... Full story
British ad banned over ‘misleading’ claims British regulators on Wednesday banned adverts for Kronenbourg 1664 starring former footballer Eric Cantona for ‘misleading’ consumers into believing the lager was brewed and sourced in France. Full story