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Real Madrid Ease Into Semifinal

Real Madrid eased into the semifinals of the Copa De Rey after beating Espanyol 1-0 in the second leg of their quarterfinal match at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Madrid had also won the first leg away from home 1-0, leaving the aggregate score over the two legged quarterfinal at 2-0 to the Spanish giants.

Madrid started like a house on fire and opened the scoring as early as the seventh minute when Xabi Alonso played Jese Rodriguez through on goal and he made no mistake with a clinical finish, 1-0.

Five minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo played a beautiful pass across the face of goal, but somehow Isco failed to make a connection to force it into the net.

In the 18th minute only the brilliance of Espanyol goalkeeper, Kiko Casilla, kept his side one goal behind when he produced a great save to deny Ronaldo a chipped effort from just inside the box.

Four minutes later Kiko Casilla was on hand again to deny Ronaldo for the second time after the Portuguese international was played through on goal. The goalkeeper, though, was quickly off his line to smother the attacker.

In the 33rd minute Angel di Maria tried his luck from the edge of the box, his shot taking a wicked deflection on its way to goal, but Kiko Casilla was alert enough to make another fine stop.

The half ended 1-0 in favour of Madrid.

The second 45 saw the home side continue to dominate matters, but at every turn they seemed to be thwarted by goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.

Three minutes after the restart Isco touched the ball through to Ronaldo who shot at goal from a matter of yards out, but the Espanyol keeper put it over the bar with his legs.

In the 55th minute Ronaldo had another shot at goal, this time from a tight angle on the right hand side of the penalty area, but his effort flashed by the near post.

Any possibility of an Espanyol comeback was put to bed in the 76th minute after they were reduced to ten men following the sending off of Victor Sanchez for receiving a second yellow card.

Madrid held on for a rather comfortable win as they were never really threatened in defence.

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