21 January 2011
Real Madrid had little trouble handling Atletico Madrid on Thursday night in the Vicente Calderon. Cristiano Ronaldo added to his goal count as the Whites earned a 0-1 win en route to a 4-1 aggregate and a berth in the Copa del Rey semifinals against Sevilla.
The Whites’ early game plan called for solid defense and counterattack opportunities to secure the tie as quickly as possinle. Already without Kun Aguero, Atletico lost another front man in Reyes on 21’. One minute later, Sergio Ramos curled a low cross into the Colchoneros’ box, the ball deflected off a defender and Cristiano Ronaldo fired it past De Gea. Atletico lost their best player and found themselves down all within one minute of play. The match was all but over and any hopes of a come back were dashed for Quique Sanchez Flores’ men. The first half ended without any shots on Casillas.
Atletico were much feistier in the second half, but Casillas had little trouble staving off weak shots by Diego Costa and Fran Merida. Real Madrid were by far the superior team since the match got under way. With everything under control, Mourinho replaced Di Maria with Granero and soon thereafter sat Ozil for Kaka. The action wound down with futile attempts by Atletico and an explosive Cristiano Ronaldo who wanted his second goal on the evening. The only bad news for Real was the injury to Khedira, who abandoned on 82’ and was relieved by Gago. A last ditch play by Kaka nearly concluded in a Cristiano goal, but Filipe got to the ball one toe faster.
Real Madrid return to the Copa del Rey semifinals for the first time in five seasons and face current champion Sevilla, but first up, a league showdown against Mallorca at the Bernabeu.
|Diego Costa 26'|
|A. Perea 76'|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Goal 23'|