Wednesday
April 16, 2014

SPANISH KING’S CUP

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Real Madrid held 0-0 at third-tier Olimpic

Real Madrid''s Casemiro (r) duels for the ball with Olimpic''s Rifaterra.

BARCELONA, Spain — Real Madrid was held to a drab 0-0 at third-division Olimpic Xativa in its King’s Cup opener yesterday, while Atlético Madrid started its title defence with an easy 4-0 win at minnow Sant Andreu. Madrid was without suspended forward Cristiano Ronaldo and the flu-stricken Gareth Bale, but not even Karim Benzema, Marcelo, and Luka Modric going on as second-half substitutes could help it break through Olimpic’s modest, but disciplined defence.

Midfielder Arda Turán scored twice as Atlético Madrid started its defence of the cup with a convincing victory over third-division Sant Andreu.

Also, Celta Vigo beat visiting Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to grab the advantage in their round-of-32 tie, while Getafe drew 1-1 at second-division Girona. The return legs will be in two weeks.

Atlético coach Diego Simeone left strike duo Diego Costa and David Villa on the bench for the first hour, opting for a starting 11 with just four regular starters and featuring youngsters Oliver Torres and Javier Manquillo.

It was still more than enough to overpower Sant Andreu.

“This team doesn’t let up for any game,” said Manquillo, Atlético’s promising 19-year-old right back. “We considered this cup match was like any other and we always respect our rival, no matter who it is.”

Raúl García almost scored just seconds into the match at the modest Narcis Sala Stadium in Barcelona’s northern suburbs. But he succeeded in the 13th minute after he volleyed Filipe Luis’ out-swinging cross unmarked at the far post.

Turán then slotted in Manquillo’s back pass in the 20th and scored again from a series of tightly knit passes in the 56th that included two audacious back-heeled flicks by Adrián López and García to set up the Turkey international.

Sant Andreu’s Adrian Mourino headed off the post from a corner kick in the 58th before Atlético reserve goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia was forced briefly into action to palm two strikes over his bar.

Villa sealed the victory in the 84th from a pass by Diego Costa.

AP

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