Real Madrid 2 Atletico Madrid 2 (Atletico win 4-2 on aggregate)

Real Madrid's bravado was blunted by their great local rivals Atletico yesterday in the Copa del Rey, with a somewhat unlikely source of their elimination being one Fernando Torres. The loanee from AC Milan who struggled to impress while playing for Chelsea in the Premier League, remarkably bounced back to form to help his old side power past the galacticos over the two legged-tie.

The groundwork for Atletico's victory had been done in the home leg last week, when Diego Simeone quite brilliantly engineered a two goal advantage as the Champions League holders tinkered with their line-up and held Ronaldo back, before belatedly introducing him from the bench.

This time Ronaldo started as expected, with the home side requiring a fast start to get themselves back into the tie overall. The actuality was quite different though, as the underrated Frenchman Antoine Griezmann broke down Real's left flank, squared across the area for Torres and he instinctively (as of old) fired a first-time left foot shot into the top corner of the net. Less than a minute gone and Real now requiring an unlikely four goals to pull the match back their way, due to away goals counting double.

Ronaldo and co pushed forward relentlessly in search of a miracle and pulled one goal back when Sergio Ramos headed in on 20 minutes. The pressure mounted on last season's La Liga title winners but they held firm up to half-time with some brave defending and a modicum of fortune.

Carlo Ancelotti's half-time pep talk for his expensively-assembled side would surely not have included allowing the visitors to regain the lead immediately after the break, but that is what happened as lightning struck twice within forty seconds of the restart. Griezmann again threatened the backline, played Torres in early on the left and he did the rest.

The Spaniard turned inside on to his right foot and his shot possessed too much power for Keylor Navas in the Real goal to keep out.

The equation was beginning to take on epic proportions, with Real 2-1 down on the night, 4-1 down on aggregate across the fixture, and back to requiring another four goals (but now in less than forty-five minutes) to go through.

It proved to be one mountain too high for even their collective talents to climb, although they did retain some semblance of pride by denying Atletico a victory on the night. Welshman Gareth Bale headed for the bye-line and hung a delightful cross up for Ronaldo to head in the equaliser. For a brief period the home side entertained thoughts of chasing further goals and perhaps the win, but the game gradually petered out as reality struck home and the away side took Torres and Griezmann off to shore up the midfield.

So Real bow out of one tournament this season and can not be all-conquering after all. They may on reflection have been best advised not to parade their recent silverware before the opposition before the match started last night, as it clearly fired Atletico up even more.

Simeone may have been slightly surprisingly overlooked for the Ballon d'Or coaching award, but he proved his tactical nous over the tie against Real with a "streetwise" approach, as his side seem to have overcome their inferiority complex against their local rivals.