La Liga

Real Madrid books spot in Copa semis

Jese Rodriguez of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring Real's opening goal
Jese scored Real's only goal against Espanyol in the second leg of their Copa del Rey match.
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MADRID (AP)

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Real Madrid beat 10-man Espanyol 1-0 at home Tuesday to advance to the semifinals of the Copa del Rey with a 2-0 aggregate score.

Having won the first leg 1-0 in Barcelona, Madrid entered the match at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium already in control and quickly sealed its place in the semifinals when Jese Rodriguez scored in the seventh minute.

The young forward continued to win over Madrid's fans by chesting forward Xabi Alonso's precise lobbed pass while on the run before firing the ball beyond goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.

Cristiano Ronaldo was frustrated several times by Casilla, and the Portugal forward was booked when he tripped Sidnei from behind in the second half.

Espanyol never seriously tested Iker Casillas in the opposite net even before Victor Sanchez was sent off in the 77th with his second yellow card.

Earlier, in the 68th minute, Casillas set a new Real Madrid record when he passed Paco Buyo’s 1994-95 mark of 657 minutes without allowing a goal.

It wasn't the only record set on Tuesday, as they kept a clean sheet for the 8th straight match.

Madrid will play the winner of the quarterfinal between defending champion Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao. Atletico leads 1-0 heading into Wednesday's second leg.

The game featured Madrid's Nacho Fernandez playing against his brother Alex Fernandez.

Nacho said it was ''not normal at all'' to face Alex, who left Madrid for Espanyol last summer.

''It was very strange to play against one another,'' Nacho said. ''We used to play together on Madrid's (B-team). But at the end you just play the game.''

Barcelona has one foot in the next round before hosting Levante on Wednesday with a 4-1 lead from the first leg.

Real Sociedad will look to finish off third-tier Racing Santander on the road on Thursday after winning the opening leg 3-1.

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