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Atletico Madrid ease into Copa del Rey semis

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Atletico Madrid’s players celebrate after defender Juanfran scored their team’s second goal during the Spanish Copa del Rey quarter final second leg football match against SD Eibar January 25, 2017 © AFP / ANDER GILLENEA

MADRID, Spain, Jan 25 – Atletico Madrid cruised into the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday despite fielding an under-strength side as a 2-2 draw at Eibar secured a 5-2 aggregate win.

Holding a comfortable 3-0 first leg lead, Atletico boss Diego Simeone left top scorer Antoine Griezmann back in the Spanish capital, whilst Diego Godin and Koke were also left on the bench.

However, there was no hope of a famous comeback for Eibar on their first ever appearance in the quarter-finals once Jose Maria Gimenez bulleted home a corner to open the scoring four minutes into the second half.

The hosts salvaged some pride and looked set for victory as fine strikes from substitutes Sergi Enrich and Pedro Leon turned the score on the night around.

Atletico Madrid’s forward Angel Correa (L) vies with Eibar’s defender Alejandro Galvez during the Spanish Copa del Rey quarter final second leg football match January 25, 2017 © AFP / ANDER GILLENEA

But Juanfran’s well-measured lob over Yoel Rodriguez five minutes from time salvaged a draw for Atletico, who join Alaves in Friday’s semi-final draw.

An injury-ravaged Real Madrid face a huge test to make the last four as they travel to Celta Vigo aiming to overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit.

Barcelona are in a far more comfortable position as they welcome Real Sociedad to the Camp Nou on Thursday boasting a 1-0 first leg lead.

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