Copa del Rey

Final phase, semi finals second leg

Real Madrid 4 - Zaragoza 0

Madrid: Casillas; Cicinho, Woodgate, Sergio Ramos, Roberto Carlos; Gravesen (Diogo 82'); Beckham, Baptista (Cassano 82'), Zidane, Robinho; Ronaldo. 4-1-4-1.
Zaragoza: César; Ponzio, Alvaro, Gabriel Milito, Toledo (Generelo 80'); Zapater, Celades, Generelo; Cani, Ewerthon (Sergio García 86'), Oscar González; Diego Milito (Capi 89'). 4-2-3-1.

1-0. 01. Cicinho. Picked up rebound and fired spectacular shot past César.
2-0. 05. Robinho. Latched on to ball inside six yard box to beat keeper.
3-0. 10. Ronaldo. Connected with long centre from Beckham to score.
4-0. 60. Roberto Carlos. Fired shot past keeper following free kick.

Zaragoza scraped through to the final of the Copa del Rey by the skin of their teeth after Real Madrid came within a goal of overturning the 6-1 result from the first leg. A packed Bernabeu stadium saw the "Galacticos" score three times within the opening ten minutes and then add a fourth after the break, but they just couldn't get the last goal they needed to get through.

The pre-match build up was all about whether Madrid could re-find "the spirit of Juanito" to stage another classic comeback, and when Cicinho picked up a rebound to crash home the first goal there was hope. Two more followed quickly, Robinho finding himself free close to goal with the ball at his feet to score his side's second and Ronaldo connecting with a pinpoint cross from Beckham to make it three.

Casillas had to save Ewerthon's header just a couple of minutes later, but only some brave goalkeeping from César kept Zidane from increasing the lead, and the ex Madrid keeper also did well to turn an effort from Robinho for a corner close to half time.

Ewerthon failed to convert another chance after the restart, but with an hour on the clock Roberto Carlos struck home a fourth for the hosts following a free kick. Now Madrid were only one short of an epic victory, but they were let off the hook when the referee disallowed a goal by Ewerthon for a more than dubious offside.

By now the legs were getting tired, and López Caro brought on fresh blood for the last ten minutes. Ronaldo thought he had scored when he got on the end of Beckham's pass to flick the ball over the bar, and the Brazilian striker had another effort saved by César in the last minute. But Víctor Muñoz's side held on to the end, and it is they who go on to play the winner of the tie between Deportivo and Espanyol, which is still pending the date for the second leg to take place.

Deportivo La Coruña 0 - Espanyol 0

Deportivo: Molina; Héctor, Juanma (De Guzman 90'), Coloccini, Capdevila; Sergio, Duscher; Víctor, Munitis, Romero (Diego Tristán 59'); Arizmendi (Xisco 77'). 4-2-3-1.
Espanyol: Kameni; Zabaleta, Jarque, Lopo, Pochettino, Domi; Edu Costa, Fredson, De la Peña (Juanfran 90'); Luis García (Ito 79'), Tamudo (Pandiani 66'). 5-3-2.

Goals: None.

Espanyol will be Zaragoza's opponents in next month's cup final at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium after they held Deportivo to a 0-0 draw in the second leg of their semi-final. Miguel Angel Lotina's side were defending a 2-1 lead from the first leg, and the coach brought his entire squad with him to La Coruña, including injured and suspended players, to improve team spirit.

Joaquín Caparrós also put out a strong line up, the two surprises being the inclusion of Héctor at right back, with Arizmendi up front instead of Diego Tristán. The young striker did have a couple of half chances early on, but it was not until two minutes before half time that Kameni was really tested, the visiting keeper pushing out a shot from Munitis and reacting quickly to block Capdevila and Arizmendi as they tried to force the ball in to the net.

The Galicians had not won at home since they beat Valencia in the cup almost two months ago, and after another quarter of an hour of frustration the coach eventually turned to Tristán. Almost immediately though the visitors could have scored when Tamudo found himself unmarked on the edge of the area, Molina doing well to beat away his shot.

By now Espanyol were sitting back to defend the result, and time after time their three central defenders cleared speculative crosses, especially from the left wing where Munitis and Capdevila were given more room. Young striker Xisco came on and within minutes was presented with the best chance of the match after Tristán set him up, but he hurried his shot in front of goal and fired wide of the mark.

Lotina had thrown on Pandiani a few minutes earlier, and the ex Depor striker, already unpopular with the crowd after his controversial departure, further upset the local fans with a clear dive over Coloccini's leg in the penalty area. Soon afterwards though it was all over, and the Catalans had qualified for their ninth ever cup final. It was another disappointment for Depor, especially in this their centenary year, and their chances of European football next season are looking more remote than ever.