Millennium Post

Real book last four berth in Kings Cup

Real Madrid set up a possible Copa del Rey semifinal tie against bitter rivals FC Barcelona as they drew 1-1 to defeat Valencia 3-1 on aggregate in their quarterfinal. Madrid travelled to Valencia with a 2-0 first leg lead.

Valencia were clearly chastened on Wednesday by their weekend experience and were much firmer in defence and midfield while Madrid were forced to replace goalkeeper Iker Casillas with Antonio Adan after Casillas suffered a blow to his hand after 16 minutes.

The home side were unable to take advantage of the change and Karim Benzema put Madrid ahead on the stroke of halftime.

The vital away goal meant Valencia needed to score four goals in the second half to qualify and although their task was made easier five minutes after the break when Fabio Coentrao was sent off for two yellow cards.

Tino Costa levelled the score a minute later but despite their efforts and Angel Di Maria’s direct red card for aggression in the 88th minute, Madrid never looked in danger and will face the winner of Thursday’s game between Malaga and FC Barcelona, which is balanced at 2-2 after last week’s first meeting.

The best news for Valencia was the return of Sergio Canales to competitive action after various months out following an operation on a torn knee ligament.

Earlier, Unai Emery’s home debut as Sevilla coach saw his side defeat Zaragoza 4-0 to book their place in the semifinal after the 0-0 draw in the first leg.

Alvaro Negredo and Ivan Rakitic put Sevilla 2-0 up before halftime after Zaragoza had been reduced to 10-men after Jose Fernandez was sent off for a late challenge.

Zaragoza were down to nine players with Fran Gonzalez also given his marching orders 20 minutes after the break and a Negredo penalty and a late goal by Manu del Moral sealed Sevilla’s progress into the last four where they will face either Atletico Madrid who hold two goal cushion over rivals Betis.
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