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Ronaldo''s 31st goal guides Madrid past Atletico

Posted By: Pti

Madrid, Jan 14 (AP) Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 31stgoal of the season as Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid 3-1 inthe Copa del Rey quarterfinals.

In a highly charged city derby at Santiago BernabeuStadium, Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas tripped up SergioAguero inside the area in the seventh minute but the balltrickled on for Diego Forlan to slot home the openeryesterday.

Atletico keeper David De Gea kept the visitors close witha number of outstanding saves but was helpless in the 14th asSergio Ramos headed home Angel Di Maria''s corner kick toequalise.

Ronaldo''s first score against Atletico proved the winneras he stabbed Mesut Oezil''s bouncing cross in at the far postin the 61st.

Oezil scored the third goal in the 90th to ensure Madridmaintained its 11-year unbeaten run against its crosstownrival, which has gone 19 games without a Spanish capital derbywin. All of those games were in league play until Thursday''sfirst-leg match.

"All games should be like this one -- fast, withoutbreaks," Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said. "We played better inthe first half than the second half but what''s important is towin. Between 2-1 and 3-1 there''s little difference. We''re alittle more calm, but not much."

Earlier, Knut Rindaroy''s 35th-minute own-goal gaveAlmeria a 1-0 victory against Deportivo La Coruna. The winnerof that series is likely to face record 25-time championBarcelona, which beat Real Betis 5-0 on Wednesday.

Both coaches started full strength squads with wingerJuanfran Torres making his Atletico debut a day after signingfrom Osasuna.

Atletico took advantage of its only first-half scoringopportunity when Jose Antonio Reyes played Aguero clean intogoal.

"I think we''ve showed we''re a super competitive team andthat there are no deficits that are out of reach,'''' Atleticocoach Quique Sanchez Flores said.

Only De Gea kept a relentless Madrid attack from gettingfurther ahead after Ramos'' equalizer as the teenage ''keepershowed his talent from the 23rd when he stretched to tipRicardo Carvalho''s powerful header beyond the far post.

De Gea then pushed Di Maria''s rising drive over on thehalf hour mark and Ronaldo''s angled shot out in the 31st. Hespilled Di Maria''s roller in the 36th but Filipe Luis managedto clear it away from Karim Benzema.

Forlan and Aguero saw few touches until the 55th whenCasillas stuck his right foot out to deny Aguero, who hadworked his way into the area. MORE (AP) AH

Kaka replaced Benzema in the 56th just before De Gea spilled again, this time from Marcelo.

Casillas again stuck his right foot out to divertAguero''s chance in the 59th and Forlan was unlucky as he sentthe rebound off the post.

Ronaldo''s fifth of the competition proved the winner, butOezil ensured Madrid came away with an extra goal ahead of thereturn leg at Vicente Calderon Stadium next week as he jumpedon an Atletico defensive blunder to slide home an easy scoreinside the area.

"I think they have enough quality to believe they can doit. They have incredible quality in attack _ great strikers,very dangerous," Mourinho cautioned. "I have to go to AtleticoMadrid and go with my best team because 3-1 is still adangerous result."

Defending champion Sevilla rallied to draw 3-3 atVillarreal in the other last eight matchup. (AP) AH

Turin, Jan 14 (AP) Juventus reached the Italian Cupquarterfinals by beating Napoli 2-0 as goalkeeper GianluigiBuffon played in his first game since Italy''s openingWorld Cup match last June.

Buffon had little to do as Catania struggled to troubleJuventus'' defense yesterday.

"It feels great," Buffon said. "I have won a World Cupand played in a Champions League final and this may only be anItalian Cup match, but I am very satisfied with the game."

Milos Krasic opened the scoring from Alessandro DelPiero''s cross, and the Juventus captain was again the creatorfor Simone Pepe early in the second half.

Luigi Delneri''s side will meet either Roma or Lazio inthe quarterfinals.

Pepe and Krasic had early shots and in the 24th AlbertoAquilani wasted an excellent chance to score. He was one onone with Catania goalkeeper Andrea Campagnolo, but he scuffedhis effort straight at the custodian.

Juventus opened the scoring in the 35th. Del Pierocrossed to the far post and Krasic ran into slot the ball lowpast Campagnolo.

Juventus doubled its lead 10 minutes into the secondhalf. Del Piero swung over a corner, Giorgio Chiellini flickedthe ball on and Pepe sidefooted the ball home at the far post.

Felipe Melo came close to adding a third for Juventus,but Campagnolo pushed his shot away for a corner and from thenon Juventus comfortably closed out the match.

Buffon was eventually forced to make a save in the 76thwhen he pushed Adrian Ricchiuti''s shot away for a corner, andlater he spectacularly denied Simone Pesce a consolation.

"He didn''t have a lot do, but he played well in thesecond half," Delneri said. "He was ready to return beforetonight because that is Buffon. He is a great player and givesus a lot of experience." (AP) AH

Story first published: Friday, January 14, 2011, 10:00 [IST]
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