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

Carlo Ancelotti: If Cristiano Is Not at 100%, He Won’t Play the Copa Del Rey Final

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid has suffered a real setback on his hamstring injury. The club addressed the reigning Ballon d’Or recipient, suggesting Ronaldo could be sidelined as many as 15 days of football. If out for that long, Ronaldo would not play in the Copa del Rey final against FC Barcelona next Wednesday along with the first leg of Madrid’s Champions League semi final match.

Madrid’s manager Carlo Ancelotti has not officially ruled out the Portuguese winger for the cup final, he even suggested his star could have played on Tuesday; though Ronaldo’s hamstring setback could not have come at a worse time.

Carlo Ancelotti on Ronaldo’s Injury 

Cristiano did not get injured in the training before the second leg. If we say that he has a chance to play the Copa del Rey Final, that is because it is not a very serious injury. We need to wait.

 

 

Cristiano Ronaldo is undergoing treatment, and Ancelotti and his coaching staff will have to wait before making a decision for the Copa del Rey Final.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madrid was able to advance to the Champions League final four without Ronaldo’s help, but played sluggish in the process. Real nearly blew a 3-0 aggregate against last year’s runners up, getting past Borussia Dortmund by the skin of their teeth with a final tally of 3-2. Without even playing in the second leg against Dortmund, Ronaldo proved how valuable of a player he is as Madrid lacked intensity that he provides.

Ronaldo leads all La Liga goal scorers with 28 goals in 27 appearances, 45 for Real Madrid in all competitions. His ability to score goals and lead counter attacks has proved invaluable against Barcelona in the past; Real Madrid will find it difficult to replace these qualities if Ronaldo doesn’t suit up next Wednesday. Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are very capable goal scorers for Madrid, though can’t quite provide Ronaldo’s ability to spread the field.

The Copa del Rey final between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona will be played next Wednesday at the Mastalla Stadium in Valencia. Regardless if Ronaldo plays or sits, Barcelona’s attack of Lionel Messi, Neymar and more are fit and expected to play.

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

Mourinho, Ronaldo get bans for Cup final reds

Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo were handed two-match bans in the King’s Cup but later Ronaldo’s ban reduced to 1 cup match ban after they were sent off in last week’s final at the Bernabeu, the Spanish football federation (RFEF) said on Wednesday.

Mourinho was dismissed for vigorously disputing a refereeing decision in the 75th minute of Friday’s 2-1 final defeat by Atletico Madrid.

The Portuguese will not serve his punishment in next season’s Spanish cup competition as he agreed to leave the club by mutual consent on Monday. Media speculation has linked him with a possible return to Chelsea.

Portugal forward Ronaldo was sent off with a straight red card in the second half of extra-time for kicking out at Atletico captain Gabi and appearing to catch him in the face.

He received a one-match ban for violent conduct and for the accumulation of cards, having received a yellow earlier in the game.

La Liga runners up Real have two games left this season, at Real Sociedad on Sunday and home to Osasuna on June 1st.

Real Madrid loses Copa Del Rey Title 1-2 to Atletico Madrid after Ronaldo sent off

José Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo were both sent off as Real Madrid lost a dramatic, bad-tempered Copa del Rey final to Atlético Madrid – the first time they had been beaten by their city rivals in 26 games, and in their own stadium too. As a fractious game that had confrontations and 14 yellow cards ended, Atlético’s players raced to the north end of this stadium to celebrate with their fans, who could hardly believe what had just unfolded before their eyes in extra time: Joao Miranda’s header and two superb saves from Thibault Courtois giving them the trophy.

Atlético’s fans began an ironic chant of ”Mourinho, stay!” The Madrid manager, though, was not there to hear them: he had long since departed, sent off after 77 minutes for remonstrating with the referee. If, as is likely, he is given a two-game ban, he may have sat on the Bernabéu bench for the last time. His final season in Spain has ended in failure, without a trophy.

”This is the worst season of my life,” Mourinho said. ”A Super Cup, a semi-final, a runner-up. For many coaches that would be a good year. For me it is the worst.”

There will be some Atlético fans claiming this as the greatest victory in their history. They had not beaten their city rivals since 1999 and that year they went down. Since returning to the top flight, these two teams had faced each other 25 times. Not once had Atlético won; Real Madrid had won ten in a row. Those victories had become increasingly easy too and it seemed like another case of Groundhog Day here when Ronaldo leapt above Godín and, from a couple of yards in front of the penalty spot, headed Mesut Özil’s corner for the opener after just 13 minutes.

One of the most significant criticisms that can be levelled at Mourinho in Madrid is that too often his teams have sat and tried to protect leads rather than seeking to augment them. There was a certain logic to it on this occasion, given that both of these sides are better suited to playing on the break, and for 20 minutes there was not one chance. But then Radamel Falcao received the ball in the middle of the pitch.

The Colombian held off the centre-back Raúl Albiol, who had come out to meet him, turned back swiftly, rolling Albiol out of the way, wriggled beyond Sami Khedira, evaded the recovering Albiol for a second time and played a perfect pass into the space that he himself had vacated ready for Diego Costa to occupy. Dashing in from the right, Costa outran Fábio Coenträo, controlled with his first touch and, with his second, thumped a superb 20-yard shot low and hard into the far corner. The finish was almost as impressive as the assist. It was the Brazilian’s eighth goal of the Cup this season, making him the tournament’s top scorer.

Suddenly, the game was alive. Luka Modric shot wide and then Özil struck a skidding effort off the post before half-time. This was a different game now and it continued in a similar manner in the second half. Filipe Luis had Atlético’s best two chances, coming in from the left: the first was hit tamely; the second was a volley that flashed past the near post after Gabi’s deep cross from the other side.

The best opportunity came at the other end, though. On the hour mark, Ronaldo chased down a ball on the left and surged past Joao Miranda to the byline. Ronaldo‘s pull back took a deflection and dropped to Karim Benzema, who hit the post, the ball again falling to a Madrid player. This time it was Özil, steadying himself and stepping inside seven yards out, only to find Juanfran diving across to block on the goalline. Just eight minutes later it was happening again. Ronaldo‘s clever free-kick curled under the leaping wall and back off the post to Michael Essien, whose wild effort flew over from near the edge of the six-yard box.

Fortune was on Atlético’s side, it seemed. Could their run of defeats really be coming to an end? It was getting tense now, dirty too. Ronaldo, fouled time and again, was growing increasingly angry. Confrontations began occurring and, in the 78th minute, Mourinho came racing off his bench to remonstrate with the referee, Carlos Clos Gomez, following a challenge from Mario Suárez. He refused to back down when the referee called for calm and was sent off, down the tunnel for perhaps the last time.

Ronaldo & Benzema: Highest Scoring Partnership in the Copa Del Rey

Real Madrid have reached the final of the Copa del Rey after having scored at least one goal in each of the eight matches that they have played so far. Eight players have found the back of the net for the Whites so far in the tournament, including the outstanding Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo. The two Whites’ players have a total of 10 goals in the cup so far, a figure that makes them the highest goal-scoring partnership in the competition.

The Whites’ first goal in this season’s tournament came from Karim Benzema, who scored a brace against Alcoyano in the first leg of the round of 32 tie (1-4). The French forward was also the architect of the first goal in the quarter-final win against Valencia at the Santiago Bernabeu (2-0), and scored again in the second leg in Mestalla (1-1).

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored six goals in the six matches that he has played in the competition. He opening his account by scoring in Balaidos against Celta Vigo in the round of 16 and scored a hat-trick in the second leg (4-0) to seal the team’s passage to the next round. In the semi-final against Barcelona he was decisive in scoring two goals in the Camp Nou (1-3) to give his team their ticket to the final.

Pictures: Valencia v Real Madrid – Copa Del Rey QF II (Jan 23, 2013)

Los Blancos 9 men held a 1-1 Draw with Valencia at Mestalla,Valencia… and securing their place in Semi Final of King’s Cup on Agg: 3-1. Real Madrid won first leg at Bernabeu with 2-0. Real Madrid also completed the Trilogy of games with Valencia.

Barcelona will play Malaga today, Malaga scored twice at camp nou to held a 2-2 Draw with Barca in first leg. The Winner of the match on Agg. will decide real madrid’s opponent in Semi final.

Fortsätt läsa Pictures: Valencia v Real Madrid – Copa Del Rey QF II (Jan 23, 2013)