Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria remarkable change in fortunes continued last night with a starring role in a famous derby win over Atletico Madrid, with the Argentine international moving further away from a proposed Premier League switch and revelling in standing ovation from home fans at the Bernabeu.
Di Maria was strongly linked with both Manchester United and Arsenal last month after being accused of making an offensive gesture towards Madrid fans after being substituted earlier than expected, but was later cleared of any wrongdoing.
The 25-year-old has experienced a testing campaign in terms of first-team opportunities following Madrid's record-breaking capture of Gareth Bale, but remains part of Carlo Ancelotti's plans and proved his worth with a ninth goal of the season against Atletico last night.
Madrid fans gave the winger a rousing reception when he was replaced towards the end of a fiery Copa del Rey semi-final first leg and shared his delight at the surprise applause, vowing to give everything for Los Blancos for as long as he stays in the Spanish capital.
He was quoted by Football Espana as telling reporters last night: “I am very happy with the ovation that the crowd gave me and I keep showing them I’m giving my all for this shirt.
"The goal was a bit lucky but the important thing is that things keep going well."
Di Maria's goal contained a touch of fortune but still hit the back of the net from 30 yards, with Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was beaten by a late deflection from Miranda as Madrid took a commanding 3-0 first leg lead.