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Zaragoza determined to finish off Real Madrid

MADRID, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Real Zaragoza say their tie is not won despite a 6-1 humiliation of Real Madrid in the first leg of their King's Cup semi-final at La Romareda on Wednesday.

'We played a brilliant game and the players were extraordinary in every respect,' said Zaragoza boss Victor Munoz after the match. 'Our performance bordered on perfection.

'But I honestly don't believe the tie is over. Madrid are a great team and deserve all the respect in the world. We are optimistic, of course, but the tie hasn't been decided yet.'

Zaragoza, who disposed of Barcelona in the previous round and scored four goals in 12 minutes in their 4-3 win over Real Betis in the league on Sunday, tore the Real defence to shreds with high-speed attacking.

The hero of the night was Argentine striker Diego Milito who assured himself a place in the history books by scoring four goals in a game against Real.

The 26-year-old notched his hat-trick in less than 20 minutes and although Real pulled one back before the break, he scored a fourth 10 minutes into the second half.

'It was a fantastic match,' the Argentine told reporters after the game.

'Scoring four goals is something I'd never even dreamed of, let alone doing it against Real Madrid. We played simply, quickly and moved the ball well but we can't relax ahead of the next game.'

Milito's Brazilian strike partner Ewerthon got in the act by scoring the other two goals, the second a wonderful swirling half volley from outside the area.

Together the two players have hit 32 goals in all competitions this season and they are both making strong bids to elbow their way into their World Cup squads.


The defeat could have been even heavier had it not been for the woodwork and a couple of fine saves from Iker Casillas.

For Real, who had gone into the match on a seven-match winning run, defeat was a desperate blow to their hopes of ending their three-year trophy drought.

Coach Juan Ramon Lopez Caro had to recognise the superiority of their opponents.

'Zaragoza played an exceptional game, they were phenomenal and were much better than us,' he said.

But the former reserve team coach said he was clinging to the hope that Real could mount an heroic comeback in next week's second leg at the Bernabeu.

'For the cowards the tie is over but in my view we have a team with enough pride, guts and talent to believe that we can turn it round. Just as Zaragoza had a wonderful night, I believe we can have one too.

'This team has proved they can fight back after difficult situations and I have great confidence in my players.'