It’s been a bad week for Diego Simeone. After a weekend 2-0 defeat by Almeria, his side lost by the same scoreline at home to Real Madrid. Bettors at sportsbook sites such as Sportsbettingonline.ag no doubt would have had this Copa del Rey tie down as a Los Galacticos win but next to no one would have predicted for them to destroy their fierce rivals in the manner that they did.
Real’s 2-0 victory gave them a 5-0 aggregate win over their city rivals, in the Copa Del Rey semi-finals. Barcelona are expected to progress from tonight’s semi-final, to set up a mouth-watering final.
Both Real goals were penalties scored by Cristiano Ronaldo, but the victory was richly deserved. Atletico were strangely subdued, their season is in danger of unravelling completely. Although still level on points with Real and Barca at the top of La Liga, their form in 2014 has been anything but champion.
The first penalty came on 7 minutes, when Ronaldo went down under a Manquillo challenge. He brushed himself down before netting. Any doubt over who would progress was ended. The next penalty came ten minutes later. The impressive Gareth Bale went on a trademark surge, until he was chopped down by Insua. Ronaldo stepped up and put the ball in the same spot, with exactly the same result. Real should have extended their lead in the second half, but a weakened Atletico, without both Costa and Villa, produced nothing.
If Atletico’s players showed little fight, their fans had rather too much. After being criticised for chants in the first leg, a small minority let their club down again. Ronaldo was hit by a lighter as he walked off the pitch. An incident that could have repercussions for Atletico.
Real Madrid seem destined for a league and cup double. Unless Barcelona can pull a rabbit called Messi out of the hat.