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18 April 2024

Ronaldo double sees Real through to Cup final

Cristiano Ronaldo (L) of Real Madrid CF clashes hands with his teammate Gareth Bale (R) after a penalty over Bale during the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid CF at Vicente Calderon Stadium on February 11, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. (GETTY)

By Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo netted a pair of early penalties to give Real Madrid a 2-0 win at King's Cup holders Atletico Madrid on Tuesday that put them through to the final 5-0 on aggregate.

Real, who have not conceded a goal in this season's competition, are likely to meet rivals Barcelona in April's showpiece as the record winners lead 2-0 against Real Sociedad ahead of Wednesday's semi-final, second leg in San Sebastian.

Real's 3-0 win in last week's first leg at the Bernabeu stadium meant Atletico, who beat their city neighbours 2-1 in last year's final at the same venue, faced a huge task to turn the tie around in the return across town at the Calderon.

They got off to the worst possible start when teenage defender Javier Manquillo tripped Ronaldo in the penalty area in the sixth minute.

The Portugal forward smashed the spot kick past Daniel Aranzubia and things went from bad to worse for the home side when Emiliano Insua then felled Gareth Bale and the referee awarded another penalty.

Atletico forward Raul Garcia had crashed a shot against the post minutes earlier but Ronaldo buried the spot kick into the corner to make it 2-0 with only 16 minutes gone.

Ronaldo, who is serving a three-match La Liga ban after being sent off for violent conduct, had an eventful end to the first half when he was booked for an aerial challenge on Manquillo and then hit on the head by a lighter as he left the pitch at the break.

The FIFA Ballon d'Or winner did not appear to have sustained any injury and played most of the second half before making way for Jese.

Manquillo landed awkwardly and suffered neck damage and was transferred to hospital for checks as Atletico slipped to their third straight defeat, including Saturday's 2-0 reverse at Almeria in La Liga.