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Spain - Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
February 5, 2014
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: Carlos Clos Gomez
• Attendance: 74278
Á. di María 73'
So, without Diego Costa, Atletico must battle their way back from three goals down in the second leg next week. It seems mission impossible, and it may well prove to be if Real play as they did this evening. They were irresistible at times. For now though, I've been Tom Maston, and thanks for joining me.
No way back for Atletico as the final whistle blows, and Real Madrid have one foot in the Copa Del Rey final. Los Blancos have ended Simeone's side's 23 match unbeaten run as Di Maria and Jese ran riot in an ill-tempered derby match.
90' + 2'
Almost a fourth for the hosts as Ronaldo squares a ball into the box from the left, but Morata can only slide his effort wide at the near post.
Atletico don't look as if they will find a crucial away goal, and it seems they will have a mountain to climb in the second leg. Into three minutes of stoppage time.
Yellow Card Miranda
Yet another yellow card for Atletico as Miranda shows his frustrations by going in late on Morata on the edge of the box.
Almost the perfect birthday gift for Ronaldo as he tries his luck from 20 yards, but Courtois gets down well to parry before Isco's follow-up is blocked.
A final change for Real as Jese departs to standing ovation with Isco on in his place.
In quite remarkable scenes, it seems Simeone has been booked on the sidelines. I wasn't aware managers could be cautioned, but the referee certainly took his name.
Ángel Di María
Di Maria has been limping for the past couple of minutes, and Ancelotti has decided to give him the final few moments off with Illarramendi on in his place.
Real's defence has been excellent tonight, and Pepe and Ramos combine well to deny Adrian as the striker took the ball into the box. The visitors have barely had a sniff.
Yellow Card Juanfran
A third booking for an Atletico player as Juanfran cynically brings down Morata as the substitute looked to skip past him.
This is the first time in over a year that Atletico have conceded more than two goals, and in truth it could have been more had Real made the most of some of the positions they have found themselves in.
Atletico look absolutely shellshocked by this. Real have been superb in dominating from start to finish and deserve their three-goal lead.
Goal Ángel Di María
A first change for the hosts as Morata replaces Benzema up front.
OFF THE LINE! Godin must have thought he had got Atletico back in the game with a towering header at the back post, only for Modric to stick out his right leg and clear with Casillas beaten. The visitors have not gone closer all night.
SO CLOSE! Almost a third for Real as Pepe inadvertently sends a corner goalwards off his knee, and Courtois is beaten as the ball bounces just wide. Meanwhile Sosa is on for Atletico in place of Garcia.
Atletico are struggling to get out of their own half at the moment as Real continue to push towards netting a third goal that could see them into the final.
Di Maria has stayed down after a trip by Garcia, but the referee isn't having any of it. Despite there being no love lost, the referee has done well to keep a lid on things.
Tempers are beginning to boil over again at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, with both sides arguing with each other whenever they come together at a set-piece. There may be more work for the officials to do yet.
A promising Atletico move reaches Costa in some space, but just as he looks to move goalwards, Modric races back to make an excellent challenge. Real's work rate has been first class this evening.
That is also the end of Turan's evening as he is replaced by Adrian.
Yellow Card Diego Costa
Di Maria concedes a free-kick for a foul on Costa, but it is the Atletico man who is booked as he retaliates. That means the big striker will miss the second leg next week.
Di Maria is on fire, and he tests Courtois himself this time with a low, swerving effort from distance that the goalkeeper is happy to parry away. Atletico under the cosh at present.
Assist Ángel Di María
Goal Jesé Rodríguez
GOAL!!! Real Madrid double their lead, and Jese is the man in the right place at the right time. It is Di Maria again who creates it with a superb through ball through Rodriguez's legs, and Jese finishes first time as Courtois sees the ball trickle underneath his body. That could prove a crucial moment in this semi-final.
We have seen little of Coentrao in an attacking sense this evening, but the left-back almost gets in behind as Di Maria plays a delightful chipped ball over the top. Unfortunately for the hosts the Portugal man just quite can't get on the end of it.
Real seem to have come to terms with the slightly more attacking formation of Los Rojiblancos and are again looking the more likely team to score. Atletico need a spark from somewhere.
Another half-chance for Ronaldo as he cuts inside from the left, but faced with a wall of defenders he can only poke a weak effort straight at Courtois.
Rodriguez's introduction has brought about a change of system for Simeone's side, with Turan now pushed up alongside Costa. The coach will be hoping that leads to them carrying more of threat going forward.
Atleti have started the second half very well, and almost find an equaliser as Benzema inadvertently flicks a corner on towards the back post where Godin gets above Pepe, but his header is too high to trouble Casillas.
Atletico make a change at the break, with Rodriguez replacing Diego, and we are back underway...
The players are making their way back onto the field in Madrid and we almost set for kick-off in the second half. Will Atletico find a way back into the match? Or will Real kick on and put one foot in the Copa Del Rey final?
Di Maria and Jese have been especially impressive for Los Blancos, and Atletico's midfield duo of Koke and Gabi must do more to shield their defence. I'll be back in ten minutes to see if they can turn this one around in the second half.
No stoppage time at the end of the first half, and so Real take a deserved lead into the break after Pepe's effort was deflected past Courtois by Insua. The match has been as notable for its poor discipline as it's quality and the visitors will need to improve if they are to get back into this one.
Yet again Di Maria is at the heart of a Real opportunity as he heads goalwards before feeding Benzema. The striker in turn tries to get the Argentina man in behind, but his touch is too heavy and the ball dribbles out for a goal kick.
Ronaldo again wastes a chance as he looks to curl an effort goalwards when a cross into the middle may well have given his side a better chance of scoring. As it was, Courtois held on with ease.
Costa is at last allowed some space to drive forward as we know he can, but Real get enough players back to neutralise the threat. Pepe and Ramos have done brilliantly to keep the striker quiet so far.
Half a chance for Ronaldo as Jese does brilliantly to squeeze a ball in from the left, and after some pinball in the six-yard box the Portugal skipper is close to poking in from close range. Atletico, eventually, get it clear though.
Ronaldo as had a quiet evening so far, and his night doesn't get much better as he blazes a free-kick from the left-hand side high and wide of Courtois' goal. Maybe he's had a little too much birthday cake?
Atletico are fighting to try and get back into this one, though other than Turan's header they have yet to really test Casillas. Costa seems more occupied with Pepe than finding a goal at present.
Real have been excellent in this first half, and Courtois has to be on his toes twice as Jese sees an effort from 20 yards that the goalkeeper parries before Modric's header is well held despite being straight at him.
The game has become a little fragmented as a number of needless fouls begin to creep in. The likelihood of 22 players remaining on the pitch is beginning to diminish. The officials need to try and take control.
Di Maria is again causing a threat as he fires an effort in from 25 yards, and Godin does well in the end to deflect it behind for a corner, which in turn comes to nothing for the hosts.
Yellow Card Diego Ribas
Yellow cards coming thick and fast now as Diego is rightly booked for a trip on Ronaldo.
The heated exchanges on the pitch are spreading to the touchline where the Atletico staff are unhappy with Arbeloa. On the field, Real continue to dominate possession without looking like adding to their lead.
Yellow Card Pepe
The first booking of the evening unsurprisingly goes to Pepe as he pulls Costa back, though the striker goes down very dramatically. This pair are certainly not seeing eye to eye.
Di Maria is causing all sorts of problems, and this time he plays a lovely through ball for Ronaldo to get on the end of, but Miranda does well to come across and tackle the Balon d'Or winner.
Koke's set-pieces are always a threat, and he is at it again as he whips in a free-kick from the right that Miranda meets at the near post, only for Casillas to push his effort wide. The officials, however, award a goal kick.
Atletico look to respond immediately but two shots from range are blocked with ease. Meanwhile Pepe and Costa go head to head after the striker barged into the goalscorer inside the area. I knew it wouldn't take long to heat up in Madrid.
Assist Ángel Di María
GOOAL!! First blood to Real Madrid in the tie! Pepe's rasping shot takes a wicked deflection off Insua and flies past Courtois.
Ronaldo gets involved for the first time in the match as he whips in a dangerous cross looking for Benzema, but the France striker is just unable to stretch out a foot to get on the end of it. The hosts still looking the more likely to break the deadlock.
A nice passing move involving Modric and Ramos ends with Jese sending a cross out of play from the right-hand side. Despite that, the youngster already looks to have the beating of Insua.
SAVED! Casillas has delivered as for the first time either goalkeeper is called upon. Turan is the man to threaten as he wins a header by the penalty spot, but the Spain goalkeeper gets down well to parry.
Atletico need to get their foot on the ball for five minutes, and they look to get forward as Garcia wins a header on the edge of the box, but he cannot find Costa who is free just inside the box.
Another half-chance for Real as Di Maria disguises a free-kick well to tee Modric up, but the midfielder's effort from the edge of the area is deflected wide.
A heart in mouth moment for Miranda as he looks to clear Di Maria's cross, only for him to slice it just wide of Courtois' left-hand post. From the resulting corner Benzema twice goes close as the visitors panic at the back.
Diego Costa is already looking to come slightly deeper and pick up the ball, though he has been unable to keep hold of it much. Meanwhile Real again threaten in a wide area as Arbeloa's cross is well cleared by Juanfran as Ronaldo waited at the back post.
Atletico have certainly settled into the match, and Juanfran gets forward to cross, but his low delivery into the box is easily cleared. At the other end Ronaldo sets off on his first run of the evening but he is soon dispossessed. Fairly even opening.
The hosts are the first team to really get forward, but after getting behind Juanfran on the Real left, Di Maria's cross is a poor one and floats over the bar for a goal kick.
Real Madrid kick-off and we are underway...
As expected the silence was immaculately observed and we are ready for the off in Madrid.
The two teams are all but ready for kick-off in the first semi-final of this season's Copa Del Rey. We will, however, have a moment's reflection ahead of kick-off after the death of former Spain and Atletico coach Luis Aragones last week.
The two sides are making their way out onto the field ahead of kick-off beore the customary handshakes take place. It will be interesting to see how long that friendly atmosphere lasts in such an important match.
Just a reminder that the other semi-final between Barcelona and Real Sociedad kicks-off after the conclusion of this match.
There are just over five minutes until kick-off in Madrid and unsurprisingly there is a superb atmosphere inside the stadium. This has the potential to go down as a classic Copa Del Rey encounter.
With a number of their players impressing this season, it is no surprise that other clubs are looking at Atletico' stars as potential transfer targets. Diego Costa has been linked with no end of clubs while Thibaut Courtois has also been linked with both Real and Barcelona if there is no place for him at parent club Chelsea. His father, however, has revealed today that the Catalan side are yet to make a bid for the Belgium goalkeeper.
Local derbies between these two sides are usually hard fought encounters, and the fact that this match forms the first leg of a semi-final gives it even more edge. After seeing his petulant side come out at the weekend, don't be surprised to see the Atletico players looking to wind up the man who is celebrating his 29th birthday today.
Atletico are boosted by the return to fitness of Arda Turan just as David Villa is ruled out through injury while Diego is handed a starting berth after starring as a substitute against Sociedad. Filipe Luis remains injured, meaning Emiliano Insua is again selected at left-back.
Unsurprisingly after today's news Ronaldo takes his place in the Real line-up while Iker Casillas takes his place in goal, as he has done in all of Los Blancos' cup matches so far this season. Despite returning to training this week, there is no place for Gareth Bale in the matchday squad.
Atletico Madrid: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Insua; Gabi, Koke; Garcia, Diego, Turan; Costa.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Coentrao; Alonso, Modric; Di Maria, Jese, Ronaldo; Benzema.
Before we go any further, the two teams are in ahead of kick-off...
Atletico, meanwhile, are riding the crest of a wave after going top of La Liga for the first time in 18 years after thrashing Real Sociedad on Sunday. Diego Simeone's side continue to defy those who believed they would fall away, and are still on course for what would be an unprecedented treble at the end of the campaign.
The big news regarding Real today has seen birthday boy Cristiano Ronaldo receive a three-match suspension for his red card against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, though that ban only applies to Primera Liga fixtures. That, of course, means that he is available for selection this evening as well as for the second leg to come.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the first leg of the Copa Del Rey semi-final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. The rivals from across the Spanish capital are already embroiled in a battle for La Liga superiority, and now they must face off in an attempt to reach the final of the premier cup competition in Spain. I'm Tom Maston and I'll be guiding you through all the action from Santiago Bernabeu.
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