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Copa del Rey Final

Real relief for coach Karanka

Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka admits his side were fortunate to come away with the points from their match at Deportivo La Coruna following a late winner from Gonzalo Higuain.

Last Updated: 24/02/13 at 13:10 Post Comment

Gonzalo Higuain: Celebrates his strike for Real Madrid

Gonzalo Higuain: Celebrates his strike for Real Madrid

Madrid coach Jose Mourinho rested several key names against the Primera Division basement boys with a view to Tuesday's Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Barcelona, but the decision seemed to backfire when Riki fired Depor in front 10 minutes before the interval.

The home side then had several chances to extend their lead but were made to rue some poor finishing when Kaka equalised in the 73rd minute, while Higuain sealed victory for the visitors two minutes from time.

Karanka feels a different mindset among his team after the interval was the reason for their lucky escape.

"From the first minute of the second half we saw a change of attitude," he said on realmadrid.com.

"We didn't win because of the substitutions, which were made in the 12th minute of the second half, but because of the change we made.

"It was the attitude of all the players that sparked the comeback.

"We knew what we were going to come up against at Depor. We could have been more than one goal down at half-time, they were much better than us in the first half, but they didn't make the most of their chances and they have paid the price."

Karanka reserved praise for forward Kaka, who was given a rare 90 minutes by Mourinho and responded with the equaliser.

"It's true that honestly he is playing well," Karanka said of the Brazilian.

"His state of mind helps him and this is important for the team, that he is playing well and that he is another alternative. That is always positive."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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Wenger hails important win

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

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