Madrid held; Barca canter

Madrid held; Barca canter

Murcia goalkeeper Dani Hernandez made second-half saves to deny Cristiano Ronaldo, Pedro Leon and substitute Angel Di Maria to keep Madrid from taking the lead in the first leg match.

Madrid controlled the game at the Nueva Condomina stadium as it was determined not to repeat last year’s 4-0 first leg defeat to minnow Alcorcon at the same stage. Third-tier clubs have eliminated Madrid in the fourth round the past two seasons.

Madrid, a 17-time winner of the domestic cup competition, hasn’t won it since 1993.
“It’s not the result we wanted because we always want to win. But with this same attitude the return leg won’t be a problem,” Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said. “We’ll definitely win and go through.”

Meanwhile, record 25-time champion Barcelona fielded a largely reserve side and still earned an easy 2-0 win at Ceuta.

Not one of its six players shortlisted for the FIFA Ballon d’Or world player of the year award were in Barcelona’s starting line-up on the North African enclave. Barcelona’s squad arrived by helicopter.

The Spanish champion looked like scoring right from the start and Maxwell duly found the net with a left-footed shot past ‘keeper Cecilio Nauzet in the 16th minute. Nine minutes later, Thiago missed Maxwell’s centering cross but Pedro was there at far post to guide the ball in.

Barcelona peppered Ceuta’s goal throughout the match, with Bojan Krkic hitting the crossbar and then being denied by Nauzet in the second half.