Copa del Rey, quarter final first leg
Zaragoza's new manager Víctor Muñoz got off to the best possible start, leading his side to a 0-1 victory against a Barcelona team who had beaten them comfortably in the league only ten days ago. Víctor changed the line up completely on his return to the Nou Camp, with five at the back and Yordi and Drulic starting up front, relying on a well ordered defence to keep out the three-pronged attack of Ronaldinho, Saviola and Kluivert. It was a hard game, with referee Megia Dávila showing eleven yellow cards, and there was very little football on show throughout the ninety minutes. The only goal came a quarter of an hour from the end when Megia awarded a much-protested penalty for a push by Gerard on Drulic, and half time substitute David Villa had to beat Víctor Valdés twice as his first kick was ruled out for encroachment into the area by visiting players.
A Rubén Navarro hat-trick gave second division Alavés a 4-2 win over Celta, setting them up for a possible place in the semi-finals for the second time in their history. The Vitoria based side found themselves behind in the ninth minute when new signing Pinilla headed home Luccin's free kick. But Navarro struck twice before the break to turn the scoreline around, the first from Magno's pass and the second from a long free kick which went in off the post. Pinilla equalised for Celta three minutes in to the second half with his second goal after Mostovoi's effort was blocked, and the Galicians seemed to be back on top. But Rubén Navarro completed his hat-trick two minutes later to restore the lead after Magno set him up, and then returned the favour to his Brazilian team mate for him to score a fourth soon afterwards. (22.01.04)
Real Madrid ran out 3-0 winners of their top of the table cup tie with Valencia, and are now strong favourites to reach the semi-finals. Although the early chances fell to the visitors, Raúl put the hosts ahead twelve minutes before the break when he headed Solari's cross down past Palop. Ronaldo missed a chance to make it two on the hour mark, but did find the target ten minutes from the end when he rounded the keeper to score. And Figo added a third five minutes later from the penalty spot after Raúl was fouled by Marchena. Both sides ended the match with ten men after Beckham and then Albelda were sent off for second bookable offences, and the two midfielders will miss next Wednesday's second leg in the Mestalla stadium.
Sevilla are also virtually in the semi-finals after a 4-0 win over Atlético Madrid. The Andalucians raced into a three goal lead within the first half hour of the match, thanks in large part to visiting keeper Mono Burgos, who was returning to the side from injury. A terrible mistake from the eccentric keeper allowed Darío Silva to open the scoring early on, and Reyes and Pablo Alfaro added two more soon afterwards to give the home side an unassailable lead. Visiting manager Gregorio Manzano had put out a weakened line up, but was forced to bring on Ibagaza and Fernando Torres at half time. Ibagaza did hit the post as his side came out looking for the away goal, but Baptista made it four from a free kick later on to complete the rout, despite the sending off of Javi Navarro in the final minutes. (21.01.04)