Real Madrid vs. Atlético Madrid  1 - 2

Article

Mourinho and Ronaldo given two-match bans

22 May 2013 20:56

Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo have been given two-match bans following the Copa Del Rey final on Friday.

Mourinho was sent to the stands for remonstrating with the officials during Real's defeat to rivals Atletico, while Ronaldo was dismissed for aiming a kick at Atletico captain Gabi late in the game.

With Mourinho reported to be making the switch to Chelsea in the close season, his suspension could be honoured in England, should the FA deem this necessary.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo - who has also been linked with a move away from the Bernabeu - stands to miss the first two games of next season's La Liga campaign.

Mourinho's departure from Madrid was confirmed on Monday after the club finished the season without a trophy.

Article

Simeone: We no longer fear Real Madrid

18 May 2013 02:47

Diego Simeone has applauded his Atletico Madrid players for banishing their fear of arch-rivals Real Madrid.

Atletico needed an extra-time goal from defender Joao Miranda to end their 25-match winless run against their city neighbours and triumph 2-1 in Friday's Copa del Rey final for the first time in almost two decades.

And their coach was delighted with the commitment made by each and every one of his players on the night and in the wider context of their "incredible" progress since his appointment in December 2011.

"It was an incredible game. We had the luck needed to win the trophy. What these players have been doing for the past year-and-a-half is incredible," Simeone told reporters.

"They finally lost their fear and the hearts of each player combined to win the match, and it was amazing. We were fortunate because in football, teams that win have a slice of luck. We believed that we'd win the game.

"What brought us these achievements has been this - you see Diego Costa running 50 metres back, see Koke, (Radamel) Falcao and Gabi all sacrificing themselves for the team.

"I'm speechless. Now we have to think about the next game if we want to keep on developing. That's the only way we know."

Article

Mourinho laments ´horror season´

18 May 2013 02:31

Jose Mourinho has described the 2012-13 campaign as the 'worst season of his career' following Real Madrid's 2-1 defeat in the Copa del Rey final.

Atletico Madrid defender Joao Miranda's extra-time header compounded Madrid to defeat on home turf on Friday, and signalled the Mourinho's first campaign without a major trophy in over a decade - barring a Supercopa success over Barcelona back in August.

And speaking after the game, the 50-year-old admitted the season was a blot on his CV when placed in the context of his own high standards.

"This was the worst season of my career. For many coaches it would be a good season, but for me it is the worst," Mourinho said.

"I always showed up in the press room every time we drew or we lost. This year's campaign was a failure but my first two seasons were successful.

"We made the semi-final of the Champions League, the final of the Copa del Rey, and finished in second place in La Liga.

"But for me it's the worst season I've had as a coach. I have never gone without winning a major trophy, because the Super Cup is not very important. So you can say that this season has been a failure for me and that is disappointing."

Mourinho's future has been shrouded in speculation for some weeks now as rumours of a return to the Premier League with Chelsea gather pace, but he insisted he has yet to discuss his future with president Florentino Perez.

"I have a contract that is valid for three more years. I still haven't talked to the president about my future."

Mourinho, who was sent to the stands midway through the second half at the Santiago Bernabeu, then claimed in his post-match assessment that Atletico were 'lucky' to lift the trophy after his side hit the woodwork three times and were foiled by a number of stunning saves from Thibaut Courtois.

"I don't think Atletico deserve to be champions but they won the title. We had two clear chances on goal, we hit the post three times. This is why I think it is unfair," he said.

"Atletico's keeper was fantastic but he was also lucky tonight."

Article

Copa del Rey: Real Madrid 1 Atletico Madrid 2 (AET)

18 May 2013 00:26

An extra-time goal from Joao Miranda saw Atletico Madrid win their 10th Copa del Rey, beating fierce rivals Real Madrid 2-1 on Friday.

Real struck first through Cristiano Ronaldo, who later saw red and joined his coach Jose Mourinho in being sent off, but Diego Costa's effort cancelled out the opener.

As the game heated up and got more open, Miranda was the unlikely hero, popping up with a powerful header in the 99th minute, securing the club their first Copa del Rey success since 1996 and first win over Real in 14 years.

Real made a host of changes to the side which drew 1-1 against Espanyol, with Sergio Ramos and Fabio Coentrao returning in defence and Ronaldo, Sami Khedira, Mesut Oezil and Xabi Alonso back in midfield.

Karim Benzema replaced Gonzalo Higuain in attack.

There were two changes for Atletico from their 2-1 defeat against Barcelona, with Filipe Luis replacing Emiliano Insua and Mario Suarez starting ahead of Tiago in midfield.

The hosts got off to a strong start and earned their reward after 14 minutes when Ronaldo leapt highest to head past Thibaut Courtois from a corner.

Atletico then began to get into their passing rhythm and 10 minutes before the break they drew level with their city rivals.

Radamel Falcao twisted and turned away from his marker before playing in Costa for the Brazilian to shoot past Diego Lopez, who was unable to get a strong enough hand to the strike.

Oezil struck the post after good work from Coentrao just before the break but the scores remained level at the interval.

Real very nearly took the lead again when Courtois was almost caught out by an Oezil free-kick, while Filipe had the first real chance of the half for Atletico, striking just past Lopez's goal.

Mourinho's men should have been 2-1 up around the hour mark when Ronaldo squared for Benzema, who hit the post, before Oezil's follow-up effort was cleared off the line by Juanfran.

Ronaldo hit the post with a free-kick, the third time Real had done so in the game, with Michael Essien unable to convert the rebound, and Real continued to apply the pressure.

The frustration became too much for Mourinho, who was dismissed from the touchline for remonstrating with the officials as the game headed into extra time.

Costa had a great opportunity to put his side ahead after 94 minutes when Falcao again played him in but he saw his effort saved by Lopez.

Atletico did not have to wait much longer to go ahead.

Koke's cross found Miranda, who headed powerfully past Lopez to give Atletico the lead.

Real looked to strike back, with Higuain forcing a good save from Courtois, while the Belgian again pulled off a stunning save to keep Oezil out in the 108th minute.

Ronaldo was dismissed for a kick on Gabi late on and a small fracas ensued.

Gabi also saw red after picking up his second yellow card late in the contest, and Real were unable to find an equaliser to force a penalty shootout.

Article

Simeone: Atletico happy to be Copa underdogs

17 May 2013 03:00

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone insists Real Madrid are favourites to win the Copa del Rey final on Friday.

While Real are looking to claim a 19th Copa del Rey crown, Atletico are aiming for their 10th and first major domestic trophy since 1996.

Simeone believes Atletico's city rivals are the superior side but said it was an open game which either team could win.

"We can't afford to make any mistakes against them. They're better, without doubt, but everything changes in one game – anything's possible," he told reporters.

"We're a side who play with commitment and humility and in the world nowadays, where everything is tough, I'd compare us to the people out there. Everything is tough.

"I'm expecting a game that will follow certain characteristics. Our rivals are quick and difficult to contain with three quarters of the pitch in front of them, but we're also dangerous playing in space.

"The team that successfully manages to link up between midfield and attack will be closer to victory. That's the way the game will go."

Real are unbeaten in their past 25 matches against Atletico, whose last victory over their rivals was in October 1999.

Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao said he was unfazed by who assumed the favourites' tag.

"I think people say Real Madrid are the favourites because they have a big budget. They have top players, but we are not angry about that because we will play our own game and we have faith in ourselves," he said.

"I don't care about people talking about which team is favourite. I am not interested in hearing that."

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos desperately wants his side to win a trophy to salvage something from a disappointing season, which has seen them miss out in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.

Jose Mourinho's future as coach is uncertain and there have been rumours of in-fighting at Real, but Ramos is focused on the cup.

"I don't care about the rumours and speculation surrounding the club. The most important thing is Real Madrid and how the team performs," Ramos said.

"You have to be focused when you are playing for a trophy. We have been training for this opportunity for a few weeks, and we will try everything to get the win and add another title to our record."

Article

Higuain: I do not care if I score

16 May 2013 17:41

Gonzalo Higuain has stressed it does not matter who scores for Real Madrid in their Copa del Rey final against Atletico Madrid.

Real meet their city rivals at the Bernabeu on Friday looking to secure their second piece of silverware this season after failing to add the La Liga title or the UEFA Champions League to the Spanish Super Cup crown they won in August.

Higuain has enjoyed a respectable season for the deposed champions, scoring 16 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions. However, the Argentine is not too concerned about adding to that total against Atletico as long as Jose Mourinho's men come out on top.

"I hope we win. Beyond that it doesn't matter who scores the goals as long as we win the cup. If I score, that's great, but more than anything we are thinking about winning the match," Higuain said.

Diego Simeone's side have posted the best defensive record in La Liga, conceding only 30 goals, but Higuain feels Real have the quality to break down the Vicente Calderon outfit.

"If they have conceded the lowest number of goals in the league, it's because they are doing well. But our idea is to look for their weak points, which they do have, and I hope that's reflected on Friday and we win."


Article

Copa del Rey Preview: Real, Atletico vie for bragging rights

15 May 2013 10:22

The Spanish capital will be a city divided on Friday when Real Madrid take on neighbours Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.

Both teams have been standout performers in La Liga this term, with Real certain to take second spot behind runaway champions Barcelona, while Atletico will finish in third place after a sterling campaign under Diego Simeone.

Much of their success has been down to the influence of star Colombian attacker Radamel Falcao, whose haul of 28 Primera Division goals accounted for almost half of the 62 Atletico scored.

It was Diego Costa who provided the attacking spark in Atletico's two-legged semi-final win over Sevilla, although two of the three goals he scored in the 4-3 aggregate win came from the penalty spot.

Simeone's team, Europa League champions under Quique Flores in 2009/10 and again with the Argentine at the helm last term, will be gunning for their first major domestic honour since they won the Copa del Rey in 1995/96, although they have been runners-up in the tournament twice since then.

Jose Mourinho's Real, meanwhile, will be keen to collect for their first silverware since they took out the Spanish Supercopa last August in what seems likely to be the Portuguese tactician's final game in charge.

A season that promised plenty for Real - retaining the Liga title and a 10th Champions League win being the most sought-after goals - has come down to a tussle with Atletico for the last trophy left to be won.

Real have won 18 Spanish Cups, with the most recent coming in 2010/11 when they defeated Barcelona 1-0 after extra-time.

Mourinho has an embarrassment of riches to choose from in the attacking third, with Cristiano Ronaldo chief among them.

Ronaldo has scored 34 league goals this term, but he has been well supported by the likes of Gonzalo Higuain (14 goals), Karim Benzema (10), Mesut Oezil (nine) and Angel Di Maria (seven).

In good news for Mourinho, Oezil looks to have overcome an ankle injury in time for the final, but Raphael Varane has been ruled out for the season with a serious knee problem.

Varane's injury could provide a reprieve for Pepe, who has fallen out of favour after lashing out at Mourinho's treatment of club captain Iker Casillas.

Article

La Liga wrap: Real, Atletico win

9 May 2013 00:27

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid warmed up for next weekend's Copa Del Rey final with convincing La Liga victories.

Real hammered nine-man Malaga 6-2 with a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired performance at the Bernabeu, while Atletico beat Celta Vigo 3-1 on the road.

Raul Albiol opened the scoring for Madrid before Roque Santa Cruz equalised for the visitors.

Things went from bad to worse for Malaga as Sergio Sanchez was sent off, before Ronaldo made up for a missed penalty by scoring his 200th Real Madrid goal from an indirect free-kick to make it 2-1.

Mesut Oezil and Karim Benzema put further daylight between Madrid and their opposition towards the end of the first-half, sandwiched between a brief Malaga fightback courtesy of a goal from Vitorino Antunes.

Luka Modric effectively put the game beyond any doubt by scoring Madrid's fifth in the second half.

Martin Demichelis was sent off for a second bookable offence before substitute Angel Di Maria capped a fine team display by making it 6-2 in stoppage time.

Atletico guaranteed themselves a top-three La Liga finish with three second-half goals against relegation-threatened Celta Vigo.

After a goalless first half, the game sprung into life as Diego Costa headed the visitors ahead from close range.

Juanfran Torres doubled Atletico's lead with a deflected effort from outside the box, before Augusto Fernandez pulled a goal back for the hosts.

That Fernandez strike proved a mere consolation though as Radamel Falcao made sure of all three points with Madrid's third and final goal a matter of minutes later.

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 15 +42 39
2 15 +29 35
3 15 +14 32
4 15 +8 30
5 15 +15 28

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 15 +42 39
2 15 +29 35
3 15 +14 32
4 15 +8 30
5 15 +15 28