Real Madrid Take Big Leap Into Spanish Cup Final

Real-MadridReal Madrid all but booked their place in the Spanish Cup final with convincing 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid in an ill-tempered first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu – the scene of last year’s final which they lost to their city rivals.

It was hardly revenge served cold in a heated affair with both sides fortunate to finish with 11 men.

There is nothing like the slower tempo and technical superiority of the sophisticated Spanish game, but this was nothing of the sort.

Alvaro Arbeloa went through the back of Diego Costa inside the first minute to set the tone for the rest of the first half in which incredibly only two players were booked by referee Carlos Clos Gomez.

He also missed the defender raking studs down the back of Diego Costa’s leg in a crowded penalty area.

Atletico usually thrive when the game becomes open warfare but Madrid out-battled them over 90 minutes and with a deflected goal from Pepe, an excellent second from Jese – the 20-year-old currently replacing the injured Gareth Bale – and another fortune strike from Angel Di Maria, they now look favourites to make what could well be a clasico final against Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo had a late shot saved by Courtois and looked angry at not adding to his season’s tally. But this was not a night for Real Madrid regrets – they had taken on the league leaders and cup holders and reminded them just who is No 1 in the Spanish capital. – Mail

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