Real Madrid cruised into the semi-finals of the Spanish King's Cup on
Thursday with a 1-0 win away to local rivals Atletico.
The whites go into the semis on a comfortable 4-1 aggregate, since
they won the home leg 3-1 last week. They will now face holders Sevilla
next week, who brushed aside Villarreal on a 6-3 aggregate.
The other semi-final will be between favourites Barcelona and
surprise package Almeria. Barca overcame second division Betis in the
quarter-finals, Almeria thrashed Deportivo Coruna.
Atletico, who have not won a Madrid derby match since 1999, never
looked capable of turning the tie around, especially after winger Jose
Antonio Reyes limped off injured early on.
Atletico went into the game with more hope than expectation, due to
the result of the first leg and to the absence of injured star striker
The latest defeat against Real will increase the pressure on coach
Quique Sanchez Flores, for whom nothing has gone right since winning the
Europa League eight months ago.
Real, for their part, went into the game with rumours about coach
Jose Mourinho wanting to leave, due to his bitter feud with Jorge
Valdano, the club's general director.
Atletico made an uncertain start, with veteran forward Diego Forlan
keen but out of form.
Ronaldo silenced the Estadio Calderon in the 24th minute by scoring a
killer away goal. Xabi Alonso released Sergio Ramos down the right and
Ronaldo turned in the latter's centre for the only goal of the night.
Atletico huffed and puffed manfully until the end, but gradually ran
out of faith and ideas. Once again, they had been put in their place by
their eternal rivals.