Barcelona, Real post comfortable victories

Barcelona and Real Madrid are on course for a King's Cup final showdown after Spain's two dominant teams recorded convincing home wins in their semifinal first legs on Wednesday.

Real thumped holders Atletico Madrid 3-0 at the Bernabeu, gaining a measure of revenge for the 2-1 defeat in last year's final at the same stadium, while record winners Barca beat 10-man Real Sociedad 2-0 at the Nou Camp.

Barca and Real last met in the final in 2011, when a Cristiano Ronaldo header in extra-time secured the trophy for the Madrid club, and if they successfully negotiate next week's return legs they will meet on April 19 at a yet-to-be determined venue.
Atletico climbed to the top of La Liga at the weekend but their first defeat in 25 matches in all competitions since October brought Diego Simeone's side down to earth with a bump.

Last year's final was marred by red cards and brawling and the bad blood between Real and Atletico was still in evidence in a match littered with cynical fouls and gamesmanship.

After a cautious opening Atletico playmaker Arda Turan had the first genuine chance when he tested Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas with a header in the 13th minute.
Real were ahead four minutes later when centre back Pepe galloped forward and his speculative shot hit Emiliano Insua, wrong-footed keeper Thibaut Courtois and deflected into the net.

Atletico defender Diego Godin headed over when well placed early in the second half but Real doubled their lead just before the hour when a superb Angel Di Maria pass released Jese and he poked the ball past Courtois.

Luka Modric cleared another Godin header off the line in the 72nd minute and Real landed a stunning blow a minute later with another deflected effort.

Di Maria let fly from distance and the ball struck Atletico defender Miranda before spinning past the helpless Courtois.

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