Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench was a technical decision

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti admitted his team had not played well and said his plan to rest a tired Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t work in the end, after they were beaten 2-0 at Atletico Madrid in their Copa del Rey last 16 first leg.

Coach Ancelotti left superstar attacker Ronaldo out of his starting XI, while Fernando Torres made his first start since re-joining Atletico on loan. Neither side impressed in attack during a goalless first half.

Atletico went ahead just after the break through a Raul Garcia penalty kick, and even with Ronaldo immediately introduced, Madrid’s hopes of making the last eight took a big blow when teenage defender Jose Maria Gimenez headed in a late corner kick.

The Blancos coach told his post-match news conference at the Estadio Vicente Calderon that his plan had been working well until the Sergio Ramos penalty for pulling down Garcia in the box, but after that concession his side were not able to react.

Cristiano was a bit tired so we thought not to play him the full game, for him to come on in the second half,” said Ancelotti. ”In the first half we needed more efficiency on the ball, and vertical passes, but the game was under control until the penalty. In the last part of the game we did not play so well.”

Ancelotti said his team had made it easier for Atletico to defend with their passing, while also praising the organisation and work-rate of Diego Simeone‘s men.

We lacked depth in general, there were a lot of sideways passes,” he said. ”But it is very difficult to play against Atletico. They defend very well, always together, always organised. We needed more verticality in our play.”

Gareth Bale, criticised by local pundits for his performance in Madrid’s 2-1 La Liga loss at Valencia last weekend, did not play badly according to Ancelotti.

Today there was no problem with Bale, just with the team,” he said. ”Karim [Benzema] did not have many chances either. There were not many chances in general. Bale had a goal ruled out for offside, but it was difficult game to get chances.”

Madrid have now lost twice on the bounce — three times including a friendly loss to Inter Milan on the holiday break — after having won each of their last 22 games in all competitions. The Italian characteristically raised an eyebrow when a reporter asked if the team was now in crisis.

”‘Crisis seems a bit exaggerated to me,” he said. ”We are not happy, and we need to win quickly again. We must do that in our next game against Espanyol [on Saturday in La Liga]. And there is another game left in this tie, anything can happen in football.”

Ancelotti went on to say he thought his side retained a chance of turning things around in next Thursday’s second leg at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

It is clear we are not out of this,” he said. ”We have a chance. Of course Atletico have an advantage, but we are at home and anything can happen. We do not have a big chance to go through, but with the players we have, we will do everything we can.”

Real Madrid’s Copa Del Rey 2013/14 Triumph Celebration

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted that his side were deserving of their 2-1 victory over Barcelona in the final of the Copa del Rey.

The Portuguese, who watched the game from the stands due to injury, heaped praise on his teammates but was quick to point out that they still have the La Liga and Champions League titles to play for.

”We deserved to win because we played better and we created more goal chances but we still have two titles to fight for,” Ronaldo told reporters.

“I’m really happy because this team has been doing really well. I am proud of this team”

”It was a great struggle to reach the final. We are very happy, we have been great, we have to enjoy this day and then think about the league.”

Goals from Angel Di Maria and Gareth Bale either side of a Marc Bartra strike sealed Real’s 19th Copa del Rey title.

Gareth Bale’s excellent solo effort in the 85th minute of the game settled the final, with the Welshman running half the length of the field before poking the ball between Pinto’s legs to give Real Madrid their first piece of silverware of the campaign.

He also mentioned the importance of beating their rivals while also praising manager Carlo Ancelotti for the job he has done.

“To beat Barca is even more important. We have to congratulate the manager”

Here are the Match Pictures: Fortsätt läsa Real Madrid’s Copa Del Rey 2013/14 Triumph Celebration

Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice as Real Madrid cruise into King’s Cup final

Cristiano Ronaldo netted two early penalties to give Real Madrid a 2-0 win at King’s Cup holders Atletico Madrid on Tuesday which sent them into the final 5-0 on aggregate.

Real, who have not conceded a goal in this season’s competition, are likely to meet Barcelona in April’s showpiece as the record winners lead 2-0 against Real Sociedad ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final, second leg in San Sebastian.

”I think the first leg was the key as a 3-0 lead meant we were very well set for the return,” Real goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster Canal Plus.

”And then scoring the two early penalties meant the tension was taken out of the tie,” added the Spain international.

”We did our job and got through to the final and now our focus turns to La Liga and the Champions League.”

Real’s 3-0 win in last week’s first leg at the Bernabeu was sweet revenge both for their bitter 2-1 defeat to Atletico in last year’s final and a 1-0 reverse in La Liga at the end of September.

Atletico, missing suspended top scorer Diego Costa, faced a huge task to turn the tie around in the return across town at the Calderon and they got off to the worst possible start when teenage defender Javier Manquillo tripped Ronaldo in the penalty area in the sixth minute.

The Portugal forward smashed the spot-kick past Daniel Aranzubia and things went from bad to worse for the home side when Emiliano Insua felled Gareth Bale and the referee awarded another penalty.

Atletico forward Raul Garcia had crashed a shot against the post minutes earlier but Ronaldo buried the penalty into the corner to make it 2-0 with only 16 minutes gone.

Ronaldo, who is serving a three-match La Liga ban after being sent off for violent conduct, had an eventful end to the first half when he was booked for an aerial challenge on Manquillo and was hit on the head by a cigarette lighter as he left the pitch at the break.

The FIFA Ballon d’Or winner did not appear to have sustained any injury and played most of the second half before making way for Jese.

Manquillo landed awkwardly and suffered neck damage before being transferred to hospital for checks as Atletico slipped to their third straight defeat, including Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Almeria in La Liga. Fortsätt läsa Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice as Real Madrid cruise into King’s Cup final

Real Madrid beat Atletico 3-0 in fiery Copa del Rey Semi Final

Real Madrid closed in on the Copa del Rey final with a 3-0 first-leg win over  Atletico Madrid in a niggly semi-final.

The hosts, without Gareth Bale with a calf injury, took the lead when Pepe‘s effort cannoned in off Emiliano Insua.

Jese poked home from Angel Di Maria’s smart pass before the latter saw his own shot deflect off Miranda and past Thibaut Courtois to add to Real’s lead.

Atletico had few chances and will miss striker Diego Costa for the return after he was booked in the second half.

Costa, whose 20 goals in 22 league games have played a large part in Atletico’s climb to the top of the tablewas the focus of much of the Real early attention, not all of it legitimate.

After a roughhouse challenge from Pepe, Real defender Alvaro Arbeloa tested Costa‘s patience further by raking his studs down the striker’s Achilles tendon as the pair waited for a free-kick.

Costa, whose readiness to go to ground under the slightest contact did little to endear him to the Bernabeu crowd, finally saw yellow as he reacted to a challenge from Di Maria and earned a suspension that will keep him out of the second leg.

Even with Costa at his disposal, manager Diego Simone would struggle to wrestle the tie back in Atletico’s favour.

When periods of play did break out amid the fouls and stoppages, Real were the more impressive side.

Homegrown 20-year-old Jese looked particularly dangerous for the hosts and got the goal his performance deserved when he nudged home from Di Maria’s clever, reverse ball.

By that stage, Real had already taken the lead via a cruel deflection and gone close through a well-struck Luka Modric volley.

Modric did well in defence, clearing off the line to deny Diego Godin an away goal and help ensure Iker Casillas a club record eighth successive clean sheet.

A little over a minute later, a second fortuitous ricochet – this time off Miranda – left Courtois helpless and Atletico almost certainly out of the tie.

Real are likely to face Barcelona in the final after the Spanish champions beat Real Sociedad 2-0 at the Nou Camp in their first leg.

Fortsätt läsa Real Madrid beat Atletico 3-0 in fiery Copa del Rey Semi Final