Spanish cup - quarter-final, first leg
Athletic Bilbao look set for a return to cup glory after defeating a disappointing Villarreal 0-2. Heynckes left out Urzaiz and Etxeberria from his starting line up, but he didn't need them as two goals in three minutes in the first half from Tiko put the visitors into a comfortable lead. Villarreal's new signing Pizzi missed out on a chance to pull one back, and when Quique Alvarez was sent off for a second bookable offence with twenty minutes to go the match was over. Víctor Muñoz's side were booed off by the fans, and although Bilbao's home record is not good this season, the Basques should go through in the return leg next Tuesday.
Deportivo de La Coruña's fans were also unhappy with their team's performance, and they won! At half time though their match against Valladolid was goal-less, and their supporters got on their backs for the lack of effort. That did the trick, and only two minutes after the restart they took the lead through Capdevila following a corner. A quarter of an hour later substitute Duscher threaded through a defence splitting pass for Makaay to beat Bizzarri to make it 2-0, and Makaay was unlucky not to add a third when his strike was incorrectly ruled out for offside.
The surprise of the night though came in the all second division clash at Córdoba, where second division B side Figueres left the home team down and out after scoring twice in the second half. Peña slid home the first, and although the Catalans were reduced to ten men when Sala got a red card, substitute Eloi got a second on a breakaway at the end for a 0-2 result and a chance to become the first side ever from that category to make it to the semi-finals. (09.01.02)
Real Madrid took a large step towards a place in the semi-finals of the cup with a flattering 4-0 victory over city neighbours Rayo Vallecano. Del Bosque was not taking any chances after their problems in the last round, and he only made one change from the side which beat Depor at the weekend, Guti coming in up front for Morientes. However in the first eighty minutes of the game they were only able to beat Lopetegui once, Roberto Carlos running through the defence in the first half to drive a shot wide of the keeper. But then the sky fell in for the visitors as a series of defensive mistakes let in Madrid to score three in six minutes, with Raúl starting things off after Corino turned Figo's cross against his own post. Zidane got the third two minutes later, and Figo beat the offside trap near the end to finish things off and enable his manager to give his stars a rest in the second leg next week. (08.01.02)