Real Madrid’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot during the Spanish King’s Cup semi final second leg match against Atletico Madrid at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, yesterday.
MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice from the penalty spot and was also hit on the head by a lighter thrown from the crowd as Real Madrid sealed their place in the Copa del Rey final with a 2-0 win (5-0 on aggregate) over holders Atletico Madrid.
Any chance of Atletico recovering from their 3-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu last week was extinguished after just seven minutes when Ronaldo opened the scoring after being upended by Manquillo.
The Portuguese star doubled his tally nine minutes later from another penalty as this time Gareth Bale was felled by Emiliano Insua.
Ronaldo’s eventful evening continued as, moments after being booked for a clash with Manquillo, he was then hit by a lighter thrown by the Atletico fans as the players headed to the dressing rooms at half-time.
The Ballon d’Or winner was however, fit to continue at the start of the second-half before being substituted late on.
Real will face either Barcelona or Real Sociedad in the final on April 19 with Barca holding a 2-0 advantage heading into the second leg of their semi-final on Wednesday.
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti insisted that Ronaldo was fine after being struck and lauded his side’s feat of reaching the final on the back of eight consecutive clean sheets in the Cup this season.
“Cristiano is fine, he scored two goals and he doesn’t have any problems,” he said.
“We are still alive in all competitions and whilst this is the least important of the three in comparison to La Liga or the Champions League, to get to a final is always a good thing for the team.
“We have played well in all the Cup games. We have kept a clean sheets throughout and this speaks well of the mentality of the team.”
Atletico boss Diego Simeone appeared to have given up any hope of an unlikely comeback from the off as he rested Juanfran, Diego Godin, Arda Turan and captain Gabi, whilst four more first-team regulars missed out through injury and suspension.
However, despite suffering three defeats in a week, Simeone is hoping for a positive reaction from his side as they too have La Liga and Champions League honours to fight for in the coming weeks.AFP