Two red cards and a freak injury to Iker Casillas took the gloss off Real Madrid’s progression to the Copa del Rey semi-final last night.
Los Blancos booked their spot in a match against the winners of Malaga and Barcelona’s quarter-final tie tonight, by beating Valencia 3-1 on aggregate.
Karim Benzema’s goal just before half-time put Real in the driving seat at 3-0 up in the tie.
Soon after the break, things got a bit tricky for the Spanish champions when Fabio Coentrao was sent off for a second bookable offence, after a handball.
Los Che scored from the ensuing free-kick to give Real the jitters.
They managed to hold on despite looking shaky at times, yet their nerves were revealed when Angel Di Maria was given a straight red card just minutes before time, for kicking out stupidly at Valencia defender Joao Pereira.
Earlier in the match, Real skipper Casillas was forced off the field with an injury, when his own team-mate- Alvaro Arbeloa- kicked him in the hand while trying to boot a loose ball from the box.
Despite their anxious progression, Real were pleased with the way they saw off Los Che, according to Xabi Alonso.
"We came with a healthy advantage from the home leg and after the first goal it got tricky," the Real midfielder told Spanish television.
"With a player less we played an intelligent game."
In the night’s other quarter-final tie, 2010 winners Sevilla progressed after seeing off nine-man Real Zaragoza 4-0 on aggregate.
They will play either Atletico Madrid or Real Betis in the last-four.