Thursday, January 12, 2006
Real overpower sorry Bilbao
MADRID, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Real Madrid strolled into the
last eight of the King's Cup when they crushed a sorry-looking
Athletic Bilbao 4-0 at the Bernabeu on Thursday.
A double from Brazilian forward Robinho and goals from
defender Sergio Ramos and reserve team striker Roberto Soldado
gave Real a 5-0 aggregate win over the Primera Liga strugglers.
Real will join a high-powered line-up for the quarter-finals
that includes holders Real Betis, in-form Barcelona, Valencia,
Deportivo Coruna, Espanyol, Cadiz and the winner of the
postponed tie between Real Zaragoza and Atletico Madrid.
Barca powered their way into the last eight with a 6-0 win
over third division Zamora on Wednesday, Valencia beat regional
rivals Villarreal 3-0 on aggregate, while Deportivo went through
4-2 despite losing 2-1 in the second leg to Osasuna.
Real, who held a 1-0 lead after the first-leg at San Mames
thanks to a David Beckham strike, made a cagey start at the
Bernabeu and rarely ventured out of midfield in the opening
quarter of an hour.
They were gifted a great chance to take the lead when Guti
robbed the ball after a Bilbao corner and put Robinho in the
clear, but the Brazilian wasted the opportunity by misjudging
his pass to the unmarked Julio Baptista in the area.
Robinho atoned for his error, however, when he tore through
the middle of the Bilbao defence after picking up a fine pass
from Guti and calmly drilled the ball past keeper Inaki Lafuente
on the half hour.
Real eased up for the remainder of the half while Bilbao,
who are languishing in the relegation zone, appeared to have
their minds on Sunday's league clash against leaders Barcelona.
Real stepped up a gear after the break and extended their
lead on 65 minutes when Ramos chested the ball over the line
after a Beckham free kick had bobbled its way across the area.
Soldado, getting a rare run out in the starting line-up in
the absence of the injured Ronaldo, made it 3-0 two minutes from
time when he sent a marvellous glancing header into the top
corner after a fine cross from Raul Bravo.
Contented Real fans began to stream towards the exits before
the final whistle, but Robinho brought further cheers from the
crowd when he added a fourth.
The slightly built Brazilian, who had early spurned a golden
chance to score a second, completed his double when he smashed
into the open net after Beckham had cut the ball back from the
byline deep into injury time.
The draw for the quarter-finals will take place on Friday.