Copa del Rey 2015: Blank return for Fernando Torres but Real still go down in Madrid derby


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Fernando Torres failed to score on his much-heralded return to Atletico Madrid but had the satisfaction of helping his boyhood side to a 2-0 win over city rivals Real in the first leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 tie.

Against a Real side which featured Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez but with Cristiano Ronaldo starting on the bench, Torres, who signed for Atletico last week on loan from Milan, worked hard in first half and tried to link up with new strike partner Antoine Griezmann. However, he failed to threaten the Real goal and Atletico’s best chance fell to Griezmann when he went clear after robbing Raphaël Varane, only for the French defender to recover superbly and dispossess him with a well-timed tackle.

Against the run of play, Raul Garcia gave Atletico the lead in the 58th minute from the penalty spot with a kick he himself won, going down rather easily in the area after a tug on his shirt by Sergio Ramos.

Fernando Torres tries to lift the ball over Real defender Sergio Ramos (AP)

Torres, who left Atletico eight years ago to join Liverpool, was taken off immediately after the goal, while Real responded to going behind by bringing on Ronaldo.

However, it was the home side who doubled their advantage in the 76th minute through Jose Gimenez’s powerful header at a corner. Having recently won 22 games on trot, Real have now begun 2015 with two straight defeats.