First-leg advantage for Real Madrid

Real Madrid earned a 2-0 lead over Valencia in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final at the Bernabeu.

Last Updated: 15/01/13 at 22:35 Post Comment

First leg celebrations for Real Madrid

First leg celebrations for Real Madrid

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Real Madrid earned a 2-0 lead over Valencia in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night.

Madrid rode their luck on a number of occasions against in-form Valencia but the victory was a welcome and much-needed boost in light of the champions' poor league campaign, where they already trail leaders Barcelona by 18 points.

Both Madrid and Valencia had decent chances to take the lead before Jose Mourinho's side got their noses in front in the 37th minute when Karim Benzema latched onto a pass from Sami Khedira before sliding a low shot past Vicente Guaita.

Valencia forward Jonas spurned a wonderful opening to draw his side level in the 66th minute, and seven minutes later Madrid doubled their lead when Los Che winger Andres Guardado inadvertently turned Fabio Coentrao's cross into his own net under pressure from Gonzalo Higuain.

Cristiano Ronaldo had two great opportunities to increase Madrid's lead late on but on both occasions he was denied by brilliant saves from Guaita.

If Madrid can hold on to their advantage in next week's second leg at the Mestalla then they could meet arch-rivals Barca in the semi-finals. Cup holders Barca play the first leg of their quarter-final against Malaga at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.


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think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

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e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

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Benteke ignoring speculation

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n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

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