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Copa Win Soothes Real's Pain

Real Madrid are on course for the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, after winning the first leg of their last-eight tie against Valencia 2-0 last night.

Los Blancos welcomed Los Che to the Bernabeu, and saw them home comfortably thanks to an opening goal by Karim Benzema, and an own goal by Jose Guardado.

The result was a welcome tonic for the defending La Liga champions, who have been suffering in the league of late.

And they will head into the second leg of the quarter-final at the Metsalla confident of reaching the last-four.

Real skipper Iker Casillas- restored to the starting line-up again- is adamant that winning the Copa del Rey can put the gloss back onto their disappointing season.

Real trail Barcelona in La Liga by 18 points and have seemingly surrendered their title to the Blaugrana already, and could be heading into a Copa semi against their greatest foes.

But even so, Casillas is now confident that Real will be able to annex some domestic silverware this season.

"Playing the first leg at home, it was important to keep a clean sheet," Casillas said after last night’s win.

"Valencia are a tough team and I am convinced that the return leg will be difficult. Our performance suffered, but the result is excellent.

"We have a complicated route in the Copa and we know it. If we qualify, we have a hypothetical clash with Barcelona or Malaga, which is fine. But the victory gives us confidence and helps us to forget the pain of our league form."

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