|Copa del Rey|
Matches played on 9th and 10th October
Several surprises in the first round of the cup, which was once again played over one leg in the ground of the lower division side. Many of the top teams fielded weakened sides in order to rest key players and give others a chance, but several of them paid the price. All in all six first division teams were eliminated by second division B sides in the games played on 10th October, including this year's cup holders Zaragoza, who were beaten on penalties by Logroñes. The match ended 0-0 after the 30 minutes extra time, and the home team keeper Jorge Pérez saved Cuartero's last kick to win the shoot out 5-4. Referee Téllez Sánchez sent off three players in extra time, Sergio Martínez and Lusarreta from the Rioja based side and Garitano from the visitors.
The cup winners from the previous year Espanyol were also knocked out thanks to a last minute goal from Lleida's Nakor after the visitors dominated the game throughout but failed to score. Espanyol's Brad Pitt look-alike Quique De Lucas was sent off in injury time for elbowing an opponent. He came off worse though from the clash, breaking his arm on his opponent's head, and is likely to be out for a couple of weeks.
All three newly promoted teams were beaten, including the current leaders of the first division Betis. They lost 4-1 to the side from the Spanish enclave in North Africa, Ceuta, who scored three goals in extra time. The game ended 1-1 after normal time, with Gudjonsson getting his first goal for the club from a free kick after Marcelino had given the home side the lead. However goals by Pedro, Puli and Alex in the last ten minutes pulled off one of the shocks of the day.
Betis's city rivals Sevilla fared no better, losing 2-1 to Cuidad Murcia, a team only formed three years ago (not to be confused with second division A side Real Murcia). Idiakez gave the home side the lead but then put through his own net in the second half. However ex Real Madrid youngster Zárate scored the winner a quarter of an hour from the end. Sevilla's young striker Reyes was one of the few first choice players who started the game, and he had to go off injured in the second half.
A depleted Tenerife were hammered 5-1 by rival islanders Lanzarote on an artificial pitch in Arrecife. The star of the match was a man who has a day job as a waiter, Maciot Dévora, and his hat-trick and goals by Fali and Arroyo left the first division side down and out. Tenerife's only consolation was a first goal by new signing Bicho Fuertes when they were already two down.
John Toshack's Real Sociedad continued their bad start to the season losing 2-1 to Hospitalet from the outskirts of Barcelona. Javi García and Siscu gave the Catalan side a two goal lead, with Gabilondo scoring a consolation goal in the last minute. This was the second year in a row that Real were knocked out by a second division B side at this stage.
Valladolid's game at Orense was abandoned 21 minutes in to extra time as the floodlights failed, and the remaining nine minutes had to be played at lunchtime the following day. One of Valladolid's promising youngsters Oscar opened the scoring just after half time after good work by Turu Flores, but Gaizko levelled the scores a few minutes later to take the game into extra time. Nobody added to the scores the following day, and Valladolid won 5-3 on penalties after Nacho missed his shot for the home side and keeper Bizzarri turned goalscorer to convert the last spot kick for the visitors.
Valencia defeated Novelda by a single Rufete goal, but the result will probably be overturned by the disciplinary committee as manager Rafa Benítez absent-mindedly played the last minute of the game with four non-EU players on the pitch, one more than the maximum allowed. Benítez brought on Serban as a last minute substitute with Djukic, Ayala and Aimar already on the park, forgetting that Argentina's Ayala currently occupies a non-EU spot pending the confirmation of his dual Italian nationality. Under federation rules, the game should be awarded to the other side by a 3-0 scoreline and the manager suspended for anything between two and six months The authorities have asked all sides to prepare their cases before taking a final decision.
Celta only just scraped through after being two goals down to the only remaining third division side Lemona with twenty minutes to go. Rubén Ruiz had put the home side two in front, but Doriva pulled one back and then Catanha forced an equaliser with five minutes left on the clock. Edú hit the winner at the start of extra time.
Las Palmas got through with a controversial late penalty against Vecindario after being behind for much of the match. Kiko (not the Atlético player) scored with a shot from the halfway line for the home side early on, and their keeper Ernesto saved a Jorge penalty in the second half after Tevenet was brought down. However youngster Rubén finally made it all square, and referee Esquinas Torres awarded a second spot kick two minutes from time which substitute Sequeiros converted.
It was not all doom and disaster for the first division clubs though, with some at least going through without too much trouble. Real Madrid cruised to a four goal victory over Pájaras Playa Jandia from the Canary Island of Fuerteventura thanks to a hat-trick from acting captain Guti. Savio added a fourth later in the match. Madrid lined up with seven B team players in their squad, and started the game with a back four made up entirely of youngsters. Right back Miñambres had a hand in two of the goals and was one of the stars of the match on Pájara's artificial pitch.
Rayo Vallecano finally got their revenge on Atlético Madrid, who knocked them out of the competition in the last two years. Youngster Fernando Torres gave Atlético the lead in the tenth minute from the penalty spot after Aguilera was fouled, but referee López Nieto awarded a second penalty to Rayo later in the first half, sending off Atlético defender García Calvo for the foul on Bolo. Pablo Sanz converted the kick, and Bolo added two more to give Rayo a 1-3 victory. Atlético were reduced to nine men for the last five minutes after Hibic saw red for an elbow on Peragón.
Mallorca manager Bernd Krauss held on to his job for a little longer after his side beat Diter Zafra by a single goal, although they did not look very impressive as a much changed starting line up struggled to hold on to the lead. Paunovic got the only goal in the fifth minute with a long shot.
Athletic Bilbao did not have many problems finishing off Basque rivals Amurrio, although it took a last minute goal to make sure. Youngster David Karanka came in for his first game of the season to score the first and set up the second for Ezquerro after the home side had levelled the scores temporarily through Atxabal. A Tiko free kick at the end of the game put Bilbao's fans at ease, and Amurrio's Bea got sent off in injury time for a tackle on Etxeberria.
Málaga went through to the next round after defeating a tenacious Cádiz side 1-2. Leko gave them the lead just before half time from a dubious penalty, and although Israel headed an equaliser in the second half, Roteta re-established the lead a couple of minutes later.
Villarreal had to come from behind to beat Getafe, who took the lead through Camuñas in the twentieth minute. Víctor Muñoz had started the game with a team made up almost entirely of his second choice players, but after bringing on Martín Palermo ten minutes before half time things changed. Escoda scored almost immediately with a lob over the keeper, and Palermo himself scored what was to be the winning goal before the interval.
There were a host of fixtures between second division sides, with the most interesting being the local derby between Sporting Gijon and Oviedo. Sporting ran out easy 4-2 winners with early goals from Pablo Amo and David Pirri and then two later on from Villa, with Oscar Alvarez and Geni replying for the blues.
The other two teams relegated with Oviedo were also eliminated at the first hurdle. Racing Santander continued their disastrous start losing 1-0 to second division B side Cultural Leonesa. The only goal came from a Txiki free kick just after the break, with Racing's Neru getting sent off for the preceding foul. Numancia fell 2-0 to Salamanca, with a goal in the first and last ten minutes of the match from Robert and Makukula respectively.
The regionalised draw threw together several other derbies, with the match between ten man Extremadura and Badajoz going to penalties after ending 1-1 after extra time. Both goals came from players called Pedro, with Pedro Nieto giving the visitors the lead in the second half and Pedro José equalising, and Badajoz won the shoot out 4-1 after their opponents missed two kicks. In Andalucia Jaén beat high flying Xerez 2-0 with a goal in each half by Pepelu. Jaén's keeper Raúl saved a penalty by Fali Montes which would have levelled the scores at one a piece.
Recreativo repeated their weekend league triumph over local rivals Poli Ejido with a 1-2 victory. Ex Osasuna striker Trzeciak equalised Epitié's early goal, but Iván Espadas gave the visitors the victory in the second half. Córdoba boosted the Andalucian contingent in the next round with a 1-0 victory over Murcia thanks to a Jonathan goal in extra time. The match was played in a torrential downpour, with Murcia's Aguilar missing a penalty and both teams ending the game with ten men.
Albacete won their almost local derby against Elche thanks to a first half goal from Dani Ruiz and a fine performance by keeper Cano. The same result too for Racing Ferrol, who knocked out one of the revelation teams of the season Burgos with an injury time strike from Fran Nogueira.
A late goal too at Tarragona, where Gimnastic went through against the ultra-defensive Eibar after Javi Rico beat Iru from outside of the area. Finally Levante joined the second division sides hoping for a big fish in the next round after beating Leganés 2-1. Roa and Javi Peña gave under-pressure manager Granero a bit of breathing space, although a late Macanas penalty gave them a fright at the end.
Matches played on 7th November
The four matches postponed from last month's first round took place today, with first division clubs all visiting teams from the regionalised second division B . Without doubt the big surprise was the elimination of Barcelona at the hands of their neighbours Figueres, who play in the same division as Barça's B team. With a side containing ten of their first squad, the Catalan giants were held to a scoreless ninety minutes, and a goal from Kali Garrido in the first minute of extra time was enough to delight the 9,000 local fans who packed the stadium. Coming three days after their defeat at Real Madrid, the players can expect a hot reception from fans in the Nou Camp next Sunday.
Deportivo La Coruña didn't get off to a good start either, going behind to Marino before coming back to win 1-4. Temporary stands were put up in the tiny stadium in Luanco, and the 5,500 crowd was almost twice the population of the Asturian town. The turning point was the sending off of Marino's Luis with less than half an hour gone after Ramón had given them the lead, and Depor took advantage to score three times in a seven minute period before the break through César, Pandiani and Víctor. Pandiani added a fourth later in the game after good work by Djalminha.
The other two games ended the same way, with last minute goals securing 1-2 victories for the first division sides. Alavés took no chances having been knocked out in the first round three years in a row, and Mané picked a virtually full strength side. Even so they only just scraped through against a battling Compostela, with a last minute strike from substitute Rubén Navarro. Iván Alonso had given them the lead early on, but Rodri cancelled it out later in the first half.
Osasuna's manager Miguel Angel Lotina took the opposite approach, only including Rivero from his first choice line up in the match against Gramanet and giving a chance to players who have not appeared much. They were met by a hostile reception from the home fans as they had insisted on not playing on Gramanet's artificial pitch, and the game was played down the road at Espanyol's training ground. Even so the home side took the lead through Raúl (not the famous one), with Palacios equalising just before the interval. A last minute goal by Sabino gave the first division side victory just as it looked as if they would be facing extra time.