Skip to main content

Ronaldo double sinks Barca and sends Real Madrid into Spanish Cup final

February 26, 2013 -- Updated 2234 GMT (0634 HKT)
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his penalty against Barcelona in the Spanish Cup semifinal
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his penalty against Barcelona in the Spanish Cup semifinal
  • Real Madrid beat rivals Barcelona 3-1 in second leg of their Spanish Cup semifinal
  • Cristiano Ronaldo's double helps Jose Mourinho's side triumph 4-2 on aggregate
  • Mourinho's reign to be defined by Spanish Cup and Champions League campaigns
  • Real and Barcelona to meet in another El Clasico in the league on Saturday

(CNN) -- It is the eight day period that will define the reign of Jose Mourinho, coach of Spanish giants Real Madrid.

And it got off to the perfect start as the Portuguese manager led his side to a crucial 3-1 victory at archrivals Barcelona to seal a place in the Spanish Cup final -- one of only two trophies left for the club to win.

Now, after another meeting with Barcelona on Saturday in the league, Mourinho will turn his thoughts to the second leg of their last 16 European Champions League tie against English Premier League leaders Manchester United which arrives next week. The sides drew 1-1 in the first leg.

Real trail Barca by 14 points in the league, meaning retaining their title is surely beyond them, but with Mourinho seemingly destined to leave the club at the end of the season his tenure will only be deemed a success should he complete a cup double before May is out.

Read: Mind over matter: Soccer's bid to train the brain

Ronaldo's best ever goal?
Messi claims fourth Ballon d'Or
Does Ronaldo carry Real Madrid?
Tactics: Ronaldo vs. Van Persie
Wright: England team is overhyped

That prospect will only have increased after this emphatic victory in the Camp Nou.

Barcelona are dominant in the league but seem to be faltering without their manager Tito Vilanova who has been absent since the beginning of February while he has treatment for throat cancer in New York.

They were beaten 2-0 by AC Milan in their Champions League last 16 first leg tie, an encounter in which their star striker Lionel Messi had one of his quietest games on record for the club. He was again nullified as Real cruised to a 4-2 aggregate victory.

Real got off to the perfect start when their star striker Cristiano Ronaldo won a penalty after a challenge from Gerard Pique on 13 minutes. The Portuguese picked himself off the floor to slam the spot kick into the net.

Cesc Fabregas claimed a penalty as Barca looked to level the tie but the referee waved away his appeals before Andres Iniesta cut in from the right and fired wide of the target.

Barcelona's best chance of the half came when Alvaro Arbeloa brought down Iniesta on the edge of the penalty area. Messi stepped up to take the free kick but though the ball beat the wall it flashed a foot wide of the post.

Sergio Busquets forced Real goalkeeper Diego Lopez into his first save of the match with a shot from the edge of the area that took a deflection off Germany international Sami Khedira.

But Ronaldo struck a decisive second just before the hour mark. A long ball downfield saw Angel Di Maria beat Barca captain Carles Puyol and though his shot was saved by Pinto, Ronaldo was on hand to tuck home his 16th goal in 19 cup games for Real.

It got worse for Barca as Real's young French centre half Raphael Varane rose unchecked from a corner to head home a third goal that truly knocked the stuffing out of the home side.

Read: A dying breed: English managers on the brink?

Jordi Alba grabbed a late consolation goal for Barcelona but by that time many of the 90,000 fans had made their way to the exits.

Real will face either city rivals Atletico Madrid or Sevilla in the final. Atletico take a 2-1 first leg lead to Sevilla on Wednesday night.

In the English FA Cup, Premier League outfit Everton breezed past third tier Oldham Atheltic in their fifth round replay.

Oldham, who eliminated Everton's Merseyside rivals Liverpool in round four, earned a replay with an injury-time equaliser in the original tie but couldn't spring another surprise at Goodison Park, losing 3-1.

First half goals from Kevin Mirallas and England international Leighton Baines put Everton in control before Leon Osman made it 3-0 on the hour mark. Matt Smith grabbed a consolation for Oldham.

In Italy, Fiorentina missed the chance to go level on points with AC Milan in fourth as an 84th minute goal from Lazaros Christodoulopoulos handed Bologna a 2-1 win.

In the German Cup, VfL Wolfsburg and SC Freiburg progressed to the semifinals after victories over OFC Kickers 1901 and Mainz respectively.

Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
May 9, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.