December 20, 2014
Spanish and Italian cupsWednesday, February 12, 2014
Ronaldo helps Real Madrid into final
MADRID — Cristiano Ronaldo helped Real Madrid reach its third KIng’s Cup final in four seasons with a 2-0 win over Atlético Madrid yesterday and a 5-0 victory on aggregate. Ronaldo, who was hit on the head by a cigarette lighter at halftime, converted a pair of early penalties at the Vicente Calderón stadium to put the match beyond Atlético’s reach. Atlético beat Madrid at its Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to lift the trophy last season.
Real will face either Barcelona or Real Sociedad in the April 19 final, with Barcelona leading 2-0 going into the second leg at San Sebastián.
Already trailing 3-0, Atlético was also missing strikers Diego Costa and David Villa plus goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defender Filipe Luis for yesterday’s second leg.
Atlético was effectively out of the competition just seven minutes into the game when the inexperienced Javier Manquillo shoved Ronaldo from behind inside the area to set up the opening spot kick. Atlético defender Emiliano Insúa slid into Gareth Bale to set up the second penalty after 16 minutes.
There was little drama beyond that apart from the yellow lighter that struck Ronaldo as he left for the dugout at halftime, which could lead to a fine or sanction for Atlético.
Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas extended his run to 863 minutes without conceding, a run stretching back to November in the Champions League and KIng’s Cup. Madrid has now gone 24 matches unbeaten.
IN ITALY. Fiorentina scored two sublime goals to beat Udinese 2-0 and reach the Italian Cup final as its angry opponents had two players sent off after losing their tempers in a dramatic seven minutes of stoppage-time.Udinese, leading 2-1 from the first leg, surrounded the referee to protest at the end, apparently upset at having a penalty appeal turned down in the dying seconds.
Fiorentina, who won the last of their six Cup titles in 2001, went ahead when Manuel Pasqual volleyed in from a narrow angle in the 14th minute. Fiorentina increased its lead in the 61st minute when David Pizarro found Juan Cuadrado on the right and the Colombian netted with an unstoppable shot.
Fiorentina faces either Napoli or AS Roma in the final on May 3.