Millennium Post

Torres lands KO punch on Real

Torres lands KO punch on Real
Already leading 2-0 from last week’s first-leg, Torres stunned the hosts inside the first minute when turning home Antoine Griezmann’s pass to hand Atletico a vital away goal.

Sergio Ramos pulled a goal back for Real, but Griezmann and Torres repeated the trick seconds into the second-half to restore Atletico’s lead. Fresh from winning the third Ballon d’Or of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo ensured the home side at least salvaged a draw on the night, but they have now failed to beat Atletico in five meetings this season.

Atletico will almost certainly face Barcelona in the last eight, who travel to Elche later on Thursday holding a 5-0 first-leg. Torres was only starting due to an illness suffered by Mario Mandzukic in the day before the game, but had by far his biggest impact since returning to the Spanish capital.

It took just 46 seconds for Atletico to silence the home fans as Griezmann broke down the left and squared for Torres to turn home his first Atletico goal since May 2007.  Real then laid siege to Atletico goal in search of the four goals they needed to progress. Atletico goalie Jan Oblak was at fault when the hosts levelled after 20 minutes as he got nowhere near Toni Kroos’s free-kick and Ramos gratefully headed into an empty net.

Atletico struck again within a minute of the restart after half-time in similar fashion as Ramos gifted the ball to Griezmann, who fed Torres and he cut inside Pepe to slot home his second goal of the night.

Ronaldo restored the parity for Carlo Ancelotti’s men when he stooped to head in Bale’s cross from the left nine minutes after the break. Benzema had one final chance to set up a grandstand finish, but he blasted over on the volley from close range to ensure Madrid’s winless streak against Diego Simeone’s men continues.

I am not from any other planet: CR7
Cristiano Ronaldo apologised to Real Madrid fans after his miraculous powers deserted him as the holders were knocked out of the King’s Cup by city rivals Atletico Madrid. Ronaldo showed off the third FIFA Ballon d’Or award he won this week to fans at the Bernabeu before kick-off in the last 16, second leg match as Real attempted to overturn a 2-0 deficit from last week’s first leg at the Calderon. However, Fernando Torres struck twice for the visitors, with Sergio Ramos and Ronaldo levelling each time, and Atletico went through to the quarterfinals 4-2 on aggregate and will face record winners Barcelona.

“It’s impossible to be at 100 per cent in every game. I am not from another planet. On behalf of the team I apologise, maybe we could have done things better,” the Portugal forward told reporters.

Real’s next outing is a La Liga game at Getafe on Sunday, when they will be seeking to protect their one-point lead over second-placed Barca. They are also through to the last 16 of Champions League, the competition they won for a record-extending 10th time last season.
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