|Real Madrid players celebrate after a goal on Wednesday. (AFP-Yonhap)|
MADRID (AP) ― Real Madrid and Barcelona had comfortable victories in the first legs of their Copa del Rey semifinals on Wednesday night.
Real beat defending champion Atletico Madrid 3-0 to extend its unbeaten streak to 22 games and end Atletico’s unbeaten run at 23 matches.
Pepe scored in the 17th minute, Jese Rodriguez in the 57th and Angel Di Maria in the 73rd at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Real is 18-0-4 in all competitions since a league loss at Barcelona on Oct. 26. Atletico, the La Liga leader, had been 18-0-5 since a league loss at Espanyol on Oct. 20.
Diego Costa, Atletico’s leading scorer, is suspended for the second leg of the total-goals series next Tuesday after getting a yellow card in the 61st and David Villa is expected to miss the game because of a thigh strain sustained Sunday.
Barcelona won 2-0 at home against Real Sociedad, taking the lead on Sergio Busquets’ goal in the 44th minute. The Blaugrana increased their margin in the 60th when Alexis Sanchez’s shot rebounded off a post, and Sociedad’s Gorka Elustondo cleared the ball into the penalty area, where it deflected in off goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai.
Real Sociedad hosts the second leg next Wednesday. The final is April 19. England
Nottingham Forest advanced to an FA Cup fifth-round matchup at Sheffield United, beating Preston North End 2-0 in a replay.
Jamie Mackie scored in the 18th minute and Darius Henderson added a goal in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time as Forest extended its unbeaten streak to 14 games in all competitions.Italy
Gervinho had a pair of goals, leading Roma over Napoli 3-2 in the first leg of their Italian Cup semifinal.
Gervinho scored off a through pass from Francesco Totti in the 13th minute, and Kevin Strootman doubled the lead in the 32nd.