VALENCIA, Spain (AP) ― Cristiano Ronaldo headed home the winner in extra time as Real Madrid ended an 18-year Copa del Rey trophy drought with a 1-0 victory over biggest rival Barcelona on Wednesday.
Ronaldo guided Angel Di Maria’s 103rd-minute pass back across goal and past the outstretched hand of goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto into the top corner as Madrid won silverware for the first time since a 2007 Spanish league title.
“It was a very tough game, Barcelona played very well, but, as you know, whoever scores wins,” Ronaldo said. “We are very happy, Madrid had not won this cup for many years.”
Coach Jose Mourinho bowed before King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia as he received his mini-trophy, while Madrid goalkeeper Casillas hugged the pair before using the king as support to climb up on a support and hoist the trophy high.
Madrid dominated the first half and then relied on Casillas’ second-half stops as Barcelona took control in an electric atmosphere at the Mestalla Stadium.
Madrid’s 18th domestic cup also ends a six-game winless run against Barcelona, which lost for only the 10th time in its 35th final appearance.
Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with the Copa del Rey trophy. (AP-Yonhap News)
Chelsea overtook Arsenal as Manchester United’s closest rival for the Premier League title after the Gunners surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 at Tottenham.
Arsenal led 3-1, but Tom Huddlestone got a goal back before halftime and Rafael van der Vaart equalized with a 70th-minute penalty kick to push its fiercest rival down to third place in the standings.
Defending champion Chelsea moved above Arsenal on goal difference after Florent Malouda scored twice and Salomon Kalou also connected for a 3-1 win over Birmingham.
United is six points ahead with five games remaining, but must still play both Chelsea and Arsenal.
Dutch midfielder Urby Emanuelson scored a late equalizer as Serie A leader AC Milan scrambled to a 2-2 draw with Palermo in the first leg of the Italian Cup semifinals.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic put Milan ahead at the San Siro with a perfectly executed volley inside the box following a long cross from Massimo Oddo.
Palermo’s Argentine standout Javier Pastore tied it in the 14th, sprinting past Milan’s defense before beating Milan goalkeeper Marco Amelia with a powerful low shot.
Uruguayan forward Abel Hernandez put Palermo in front in the 53rd, scoring from a sharp angle. Emanuelson equalized in the 76th after Ibrahimovic was stripped of the ball inside the penalty area.
Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain reached the French Cup final with a 3-1 win at second-division side Angers.
PSG will face league leader Lille in the final May 14 at the Stade de France. Lille had beaten Nice 2-0 in the other semifinal Tuesday.
PSG got goals from Mathieu Bodmer, Nene and Guillaume Hoarau. Sebastien Renouard pulled one back for Angers.
“We were serious and hardworking tonight,” PSG coach Antoine Kombouare said. “We were fortunate enough to score quickly and now we are very proud to be able to defend our title at the Stade de France for a great showdown.”
Kris Commons scored twice in a first-half blitz as Celtic routed Kilmarnock 4-0 to narrow the gap behind Scottish Premier League leader Rangers to one point.
The Scotland attacking midfielder gave the visitors the lead in the fourth minute at Rugby Park with a neat, low finish and connected again in the 34th, slipping a shot past advancing goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola.
Gary Hooper provided the assist for both those goals and the striker scored himself to make it 3-0 and seal a fifth straight league victory for Celtic.