Copa del Rey, round 2
A goal in extra time from Raúl gave Real Madrid a thrilling 3-4 win over Leganés. Carlos Queiroz rested Zidane and Figo and left Ronaldo on the bench, but it looked as if they were on the way to an easy win after Beckham squeezed a free kick past Leyenda and then Raúl made it two after the keeper could only push out a shot from the England captain. However some sloppy defending allowed Borja to score twice before the break to level the scores, and the second division side took the lead soon after the restart when Pavón put through his own net. But Solari equalised two minutes from the end to take the game into extra time, and Raúl connected with a Roberto Carlos cross to back-heel the ball into the net and give his side a place in tomorrow's third round draw. (18.12.03)
Another eleven matches in the Spanish cup were played on Wednesday night, with few surprises once again. The biggest shock without doubt though was the elimination of reigning champions Mallorca, who were beaten 2-0 by second division side Levante. Aganzo got a goal in each half to take the Valencia based side through to Friday's draw.
Only one other first division side lost to lower level opposition, Racing Santander getting knocked out by Eibar in the penalty shoot out after drawing 0-0 in the match. Bodipo missed the last kick to round off a bad week for the Cantabrians in which they were docked a point by the disciplinary committee for fielding too many non-EU players against Osasuna.
And talking of Osasuna, they only just made it through after scoring twice in the last two minutes of the game to beat Cádiz 1-2. Pavoni had put the Andalucians ahead on the stroke of half time, and it looked like they were going through before the referee awarded a hotly disputed penalty with the game almost at an end. Aloisi converted the kick, and Webó got a second goal a minute later to wrap things up.
One other first division side was eliminated, Real Murcia losing 2-0 at Valencia in one of only two all-first-division clashes. Although Rafa Benítez put out a side with many reserve players they had no problems going through, Xisco opening the scoring early on and Garrido getting his first goal for the club in the second half. This was the first time that Valencia have reached the third round in four years.
For once the big sides made it through the first two rounds without too many problems, Barcelona for example beating Ciudad de Murcia 0-4. Saviola opened the scoring for the Blaugrana midway through the first half from Ronaldinho's pass, and Overmars scored twice after the break before Ronaldinho finished things off from the penalty spot.
Deportivo La Coruña had few problems as well beating second division B side Gimnastica Torrelavega, although the 1-2 scoreline flattered the local side. Pablo Amo headed the visitors in front on the stroke of half time and Munitis got a second after the break before Loza got a late consolation goal for the home side. And Amavisca missed a penalty before the end of the game which would have given the Galicians a bigger win.
Penalties featured heavily in Málaga's 0-1 win over Xerez, Salva scoring one in the second half to give his side the victory but having another saved by local keeper Doblas before the end of the match. It was fitting revenge for the South coast side though, who were knocked out of the cup by their neighbours last season.
The regionalized draw threw together one other Andalucian derby, Betis earning manager Víctor Fernández a breather after coming from behind to beat Córdoba 1-3. The second division side dominated the early minutes, and Norway's Crister George opened the scoring for them on the half hour mark. But Dani turned the scoreline around with a goal either side of half time, and Fernando rounded things off with a third in injury time.
Betis's neighbours Sevilla had to travel to the Canary Islands though for their game, the match against Lanzarote being switched to Las Palmas after the Andalucians refused to play on the home side's artificial pitch. The second division B side hit the bar early on, but Baptista scored soon afterwards and keeper Esteban did the rest. Lazarote ended with nine men after Sergio and Aitor were sent off near the end.
The high number of second division sides from Andalucia meant that some of them had to play against teams from other parts of Spain. High flying Almería met their match though when they lost 1-3 to Valladolid, who were never really in trouble after Oscar opened the scoring early in the second half. Lozano levveld the scores momentarily, but a minute later Pachón restored the lead, and Oscar got his second of the night right at the end for the final scoreline.
One first division side who did have problems though was Zaragoza, and it took a freak goal from Galletti late in extra time to defeat Salamanca 2-3. Paco Flores's side were up against with a quarter of an hour gone when Ferrón gave away a penalty and got himself sent off for handling in the area. But Joeano put his kick over the bar, and before the break Villa and Iñaki put the visitors two up. Raúl Gañan and Tuni made it all square in the second half though before Galletti struck. (17.12.03)
With European competitions shelved for the next three months, it was the turn of the Spanish cup to return to the scene. Four ties were brought forward to Tuesday, with the all first division match between Celta and Espanyol kicking things off. Jandro put the Galicians ahead before the break, and although Alex Fernández levelled the scores from a free kick in the second half, goals late on from Jesuli and Milosevic took Lotina's side through 3-1, a result which takes some of the pressure off the manager.
The result at least leaves Espanyol free to concentrate on getting out of the bottom spots in the league, a sentiment which was obviously shared by Real Sociedad's Reynald Denoueix. He fielded a side made up of reserves and youngsters against Alavés, and paid the price with a 2-1 defeat. For a while though it looked as if Mikel Alonso's first half headed goal would see them through, but two strikes in the last ten minutes from Rubén Navarro and Kiko turned the score around. And it could have been worse had Alberto not saved a late Rubén Navarro penalty.
As usual the first division sides struggled at the grounds of lower division opposition, and it took a last minute goal from Fernando Torres to take Atlético Madrid through 0-1 against second division B side Cultural Leonesa. Gregorio Manzano wasn't taking any chances and put out a strong line up, but even though Nano and Fernando Torres hit the woodwork either side of half time, the locals put up a good fight.
Villarreal also went through by the same score against the second division's bottom club Algeciras. The only goal came midway through the first half when Ballesteros headed home Riquelme's free kick, and after that Benito Floro ordered his men to sit back and defend their lead. José Marí did hit the post after the interval, but there were a nervous few moments before the referee blew the final whistle. (16.12.03)