Stand-in Karanka refuses to wish Barca luck

BARCELONA - Real Madrid's assistant coach Aitor Karanka declined to wish Barcelona luck for the Champions League final after a 1-1 draw in Tuesday's semi-final second leg sent their bitter rivals through 3-1 on aggregate.

"After everything that has been said in recent days I have nothing to add," the former Real player who was standing in for Jose Mourinho, suspended after he was sent to the stands during last week's first leg, told a news conference after being asked if he hoped Barca went on to win the final.

The bad blood between the two clubs erupted into ugly scenes in the first leg at the Bernabeu and UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against them that will be decided on Friday.

Real accused some of the Barca players of diving and play-acting, including in the incident that led to the dismissal of Pepe in the second half, while Barca were incensed with Mourinho's suggestion that referees favoured the Catalan club.

"Everyone saw the pictures and is still seeing them," Karanka told a news conference.

"I already said that the referee would not have an easy job today after what happened at the Bernabeu," he added.

Referee Frank de Bleeckere brandished six yellow cards - five to Real players - in another tetchy contest that Barca dominated for long periods with their slick passing.

Their passage to their third final in three seasons, where they will face Manchester United or Schalke 04, gave the 2009 winners a measure of revenge for last month's King's Cup final defeat to Real which robbed them of the chance of a treble.

They lead Real by eight points in La Liga with four games left and have a better head-to-head record that will be decisive if the pair finish level on points.

Karanka refused to throw in the towel in the league.

"There are still matches left and out of respect for everyone it's not yet the time to be taking stock of the season," he said.

"The fans saw what the team is capable of today," he added. "The Madrid family should be proud of everything they have seen the past month."