It was not a pretty match at the Bernabéu but Real Madrid will be more than happy with the result at they took the first leg of their Copa del Rey semifinals against Atlético Madrid, 3-0. Two deflected own-goals and a lovely flick by Jesé helped fuel Real Madrid to a big win over their city rivals.
Pepe helped facilitate a bit of a lucky own-goal in the 17th minute to put Real Madrid on the board first. An extended period of pressure by Madrid stretched out the Atléti defense and Pepe took advantage, stepping into space on the edge of the box and blasting a low shot that took a big deflection off Emiliano Insua. Thibaut Courtois was cheating towards the near post and could do nothing as the ball careened the opposite direction to put the home side up 1-0.
The first half, other than the Pepe goal, was defined by chippy tackles, some simulation and everyone with access to instant replay feeling horribly bad for the match referee who couldn't possibly see all the antics going on. The one he missed though was easily the worst as Álvaro Arbeloa raked his cleats on Diego Costa's achilles before a free kick.
Atléti tightened the defense up in the second half, appearing to be playing to keep the tie close going into the second leg at home.
It didn't work.
In the 57th minute, Jesé made a lightning quick cross pitch run that was spotted by Ángel di Maria who delivered a pinpoint pass behind the defense. Jesé got enough on his flick to direct the ball past Courtois, doubling the Madrid lead.
Things got worse for Atléti in the 62nd minute when Diego Costa was booked for reacting to a heavy tackle from Di Maria. The yellow card means he'll miss the second leg serving a card accumulation suspension. With David Villa injured, it's a big blow for their hopes of making a comeback.
Luka Modrić kept Madrid in front by two goal in the 72nd minute making an excellent save off the line. Diego Godin powered over Pepe near the far post, sending a header down past Iker Casillas, but the Croatian midfielder was the man of the moment, moving off his position at the far post and kicking the ball away.
Madrid capitalized two minutes later and added a third goal on yet another deflection. Di Maria's poorly struck ball from 20-yards out hit off the heels of João Miranda, sending Courtois the wrong way and all, but ending the match at 3-0.
Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao, Xabi, Modric, Di María (Illarramendi 81'), Jesé (Isco 84'), Cristiano, Benzema (Morata 73')
Goals: Insua (o.g. 17'), Jesé (57'), Miranda (o.g. 73')
Atlético Madrid: Courtois, Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Insua, Gabi, Koke, Turan (Adrián 62'), Diego (Rodríguez 46'), Raúl García (Sosa 70'), Diego Costa