- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

MADRID (AP) - Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti made Gareth Bale unavailable for Wednesday’s 3-0 Copa del Rey victory over Atletico Madrid to fill in for the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo in league play.

Bale was originally included in the team for the first-leg semifinal but was dropped hours before kickoff.

Ancelotti says Bale was not left out because of injury but because Ronaldo is banned for three Spanish league games following his sending off at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

The Italian coach says “he didn’t re-injure himself, he’s in good shape, I just preferred for him to be fresh and rested for Saturday with Cristiano out.”

Madrid, which trails Spanish leader Atletico by three points, faces Villarreal in the league on Saturday.


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