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CR7 scores a brace, Real romp into final

Madrid: 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 a Spanish television broadcaster.

“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 1-2 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.

Ronaldo 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.

(Reuters)