Real Madrid won 3-0 at home to cross city rivals Atletico. This wasn’t the flowing match that I’d expected. Ancelotti’s side took a much more pragmatic approach. They marked Atletico’s danger men closely. It was a rough and tumble match, with the home side in particular testing the referee’s patience.
Diego Costa was kicked at every opportunity. Finally losing his temper, he kicked back, and received a yellow card that will keep him out of the return. An injustice at every level.
The scoreline wasn’t unjust. Real’s tactics worked to perfection. In the continued absence of Gareth Bale, Jese shined once again. He scored on 57 minutes. His effort was sandwiched by goals from Pepe, on 17, and Di Maria, on 73, both of which were aided by deflections.
Atletico defeated Real Madrid on way to winning the Copa Del Rey last season, it doesn’t appear that lightning will strike twice.
In the other semi-final Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 2-0 at Camp Nou. Sociedad, who received a bye in the last round after Racing Santander effectively disqualified themselves, can count themselves very unlucky.
The first goal, by Sergio, came moments after Cesc Fabregas appeared to pull back Carlos Vela. The referee didn’t see it, but he did see and hear the protests from Inigo Martinez. Martinez saw red, and it was a fruitless struggle for the visitors from that point on.
The second goal was also fortunate for Barca, an unlucky own goal, via a cannon, from goalkeeper Enau Zubikarai. Sociedad are an improving side. Jagoba Arrasate will be pleased with their performance but cursing his luck.
It looks like it’s going to be Real Madrid against Barcelona in the battle for the King’s cup.