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Feb 28, 2013

Falcao relishing Madrid derby final

Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao admits the Copa del Rey is an "important" part of the club's season as they set up a clash with Real Madrid in the final.

A 2-2 draw in the semi-final second-leg against Sevilla on Wednesday was enough to send Atletico through with a 4-3 aggregate win.

Diego Costa's early opener and a goal to Falcao gave Atletico a commanding 2-0 lead, although Sevilla equalised in injury time to provide a tense finale.

Falcao was pleased with Atletico's attack, admitting they unnerved Sevilla which was most apparent as Gary Medel reacted badly to being sent off in the latter stages.

"Being in the final is very important for Atletico, [so] we are pleased and we are proud," Falcao said. "The end of the match was ugly, but it doesn't matter.

"We had a good strategy. We knew they would try to win and that would give us chances, and we took advantage. I'm happy because we put in a lot of work and effort."

Atletico boss Diego Simeone has commended his side for not resting on their 2-1 first-leg lead and grabbing the ascendency just six minutes into the match in Sevilla.

"We had great ambition from the beginning to win the game and we responded very well in the first steps of the game until the goal of Diego Costa," he said. "After that arrived the goal of Falcao and after that the game was fine.

"Sevilla tried everything they could on the pitch, they have tried everything after our second goal and they put us under pressure. They played with intensity and it was a great battle."

Although it's difficult for Simeone not to look past a Madrid derby in the cup final, the Argentine has urged his charges to focus on finishing second in La Liga.

"Today we are going to enjoy qualifying for the final. After that we are going to start to think about Malaga," he said. "They are very difficult opponents who play very well.

"It is a rival very close for us, so we will have to recover for that game. If we have to talk about the final, now we are just happy because once again Atletico de Madrid is in a big final."

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