Copa del Rey, third round second leg
The last two ties of the third round were decided on the away goal rule after both ended all square at the end of the second leg. The surprise if any came at the ground of Deportivo La Coruña, where their 1-1 draw with Atlético Madrid saw the champions from two years ago dumped out of the competition. Paunovic scored the vital goal midway through the second half after Lequi set him up, and although substitute Diego Tristán levelled the scores five minutes from time, the goal-less draw from the first leg meant that Gregorio Manzano's side go into the hat tomorrow.
A tight game too in Sevilla, where Villarreal pushed their opponents to the brink despite turning up with a side packed with youngsters. After the 1-3 result from the first leg, Benito Floro decided that the gap was too big, and rested most of his key players. But two minutes in to the second half a cross from Cases was turned into his own net by Sevilla defender Redondo, and José Marí added a second later in the half when he collected Roger's free kick to beat Esteban. They couldn't get that third goal though, and Sevilla qualify as Andalucia's only representative in the fourth round draw. (15.01.04)
At last there was some excitement in the Spanish cup, and with most of the big names going through it promises to be an interesting competition this year. A great performance by Saviola took Barcelona through to the quarter finals, the Argentine forward scoring once and making two more as his side beat second division Levante 3-1. El Pibito helped Iniesta score the first goal with only five minutes on the clock, levelling the tie at one all, and got the second himself on the stroke of half time after Xavi set him up. The visitors had two penalty appeals turned down earlier on, and were therefore upset when the referee awarded one to Barça when Saviola was brought down by Olias after the break. Ronaldinho converted the kick, but just when it seemed to be over, Congo pulled one back to set up a nervous last five minutes for the home fans.
Valencia proved too good for Osasuna despite the 2-2 draw at the Mestalla stadium from the first leg tie, Rafa Benítez's side going through on aggregate after a 0-2 victory in the return game in Pamplona. Vicente opened the scoring midway through the first half, somewhat against the run of play after Angulo's effort was blocked, and Angulo himself could have extended the lead before the break. Rufete did make it two though, beating Elía again after good work by Angulo again, and although Aloisi could have pulled one back, the locals were left with ten men after Rivero picked up a second booking only a minute later. Valencia could have scored again after that, but they had already done enough to sentence the tie.
Celta Vigo battled through to the quarter finals of the competition after drawing 2-2 at home to Málaga. Defending a one goal lead from the first leg, Lotina's side found themselves pegged back only three minutes in to the match when Juanito followed up after Pinto could only push out a cross from the left. Vagner made it all square on the hour mark when he charged down a clearance from Calatayud to force the ball into the net, but when Salva restored the lead for the visitors with a vital away goal eight minutes later, the Galicians were out of the competition. However only a minute later Vagner latched on to a short pass from Milosevic to get his third goal of the round and take his side through.
Zaragoza will also be in Friday's draw after they eliminated Betis in their third round tie. Paco Flores's side took a 3-1 lead into the second leg, but the locals were buoyant after their weekend victory and got a goal back only nine minutes in to the game when Fernando beat Lainez from outside of the area. One more would have taken the Andalucians through on the away goal rule, and they forced their opponents back in search of victory. But they were unable to get the goal they wanted, and with the match coming to an end Prats brought down Vellisca in the area, giving away a penalty and getting himself sent off. With all three changes made, Ito took over the keeper's jersey, but he could do nothing to stop Villa's spot kick.
One second division side at least survived though amongst all the big clubs, Alavés knocking out Valladolid thanks to a late goal from Astudillo. After a goal-less first leg, the first division team went ahead in the tie when Sousa's free kick was deflected into the net by visiting defender Galván on the quarter hour mark. Oscar could have made it two later in the first half when he hit the bar, but Pepe Mel threw on all his fire power and got his reward when Astudillo headed home Pablo's free kick to reserve a place in the fourth round on the away goal rule. (14.01.04)
Real Madrid are the first side to reach the fourth round of the competition after beating Eibar 2-0 in their second leg tie. It was not an easy victory though, despite the fact that Carlos Queiroz fielded a strong side against the second division team, who themselves put out a line-up packed with reserve players. Once again Iker Casillas was called upon to save the day in the first half, and Cuevas missed a golden opportunity to put his side ahead after the restart. A minute later though Ronaldo got on the end of a Roberto Carlos cross to score the easiest of goals, and Figo made it two a few minutes later with a free kick into the top corner of the net. (13.01.04)