|Copa del Rey|
Third round, first leg
Matches played on 11th January
The Spanish cup resumed this week, with the competition switching to a two-leg format after the initial two rounds. Two games kicked off on Tuesday night, including the tie between the finalist from two years ago Recreativo Huelva and their close neighbours Sevilla, who are looking to win the trophy in their centenary year. In the end the first division side ran out 0-2 winners, although it was a controversial match in which referee Carmona Méndez played a big part. Carmona awarded three penalties and left both sides with ten men by the break, showing a red card to local midfielder Viqueira for a verbal insult midway through the first half after his free kick was blocked by a defensive wall who were too close to the ball. Keeper Luque had to be at his best to keep out efforts from Aitor Ocio and Javi Navarro soon afterwards, but Navarro became the referee's second victim when he picked up a second booking for a high kick on Uche in the area five minutes before the interval. Angel Rodríguez hit the post from the resulting penalty though, and either side could have scored before Carmona gave two penalties in the space of seven minutes to the visitors after the restart, the first when Baquero blocked Baptista's free kick with his arm and the second involving the same two players when the Brazilian forward fell under a challenge from the defender. Baptista converted both kicks to leave his side with one foot in the quarter finals.
The second match was also a local derby of sorts, Gramanet beating fellow Catalans Lleida 2-0 on their artificial pitch to take a useful lead into next week's second leg. The second division B side had already knocked Barcelona and Levante out of the competition, and were the better side throughout. Both goals came in the second half, Mario Carrizosa opening the scoring when he poked home a corner from ex Real Sociedad midfielder Xavi Gracia, and Dimas making it two on the hour mark after Ollés laid the ball back from the left. Lleida didn't wake up until the last quarter of an hour when Miguel Rubio threw on all his strike force, but local keeper Morales and his defence stood fast.
Matches played on 12th January
Five matches were played on Wednesday night, with no doubt the surprise of the round being Lanzarote's 2-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao. All three goals were scored by the second division B side themselves, Alejandro opening the scoring following a corner midway through the first half, and then watching Calvillo turn Tiko's corner into his own net before getting his side's second goal on the stroke of half time. The Basques were unable to turn the scoreline around on the Canary Islanders' artificial pitch, but they must still be favourites to go through when the two teams meet again in the San Mamés stadium in a week's time.
Numancia also lost to lower division opposition, although their 1-0 defeat at the hands of Elche was less of a shock as they had to play all of the second half with ten men. The turning point came on the stroke of half time when Peragón was fouled by Palacios as he ran on to score, referee Rubinos Pérez ruling out the goal but awarding a penalty and sending off the veteran midfielder. Rubén Suárez scored from the spot at the second attempt, and could well have increased the lead as the locals did all the attacking after the restart.
Atlético Madrid didn't allow themselves to be caught out though by lowly Lorca, César Ferrando's side running out 1-3 winners against the second division B club. Antonio López put the visitors ahead from a free kick on the stroke of half time, and although Alexandre levelled the scores after the interval, Pablo restored the lead when he headed home a corner ten minutes from the end. And a lively Gronkjaer set up substitute Braulio for a third goal late on, after which the local resistance crumbled.
Betis followed in the footsteps of their city neighbours Sevilla, beating opponents Mirandés 1-3 to virtually ensure their place in the quarter finals. It was not the easiest of victories though, and Serra Ferrer's side had to come back from behind after Rodri beat Contreras from a free kick just a minute in to the second half. Two goals in a minute though wrapped things up a quarter of an hour from the end, Edu and Oliveira beating Tito with consecutive headers, and youngster Israel added a third goal after a rapid breakaway in injury time.
Osasuna beat Getafe 2-0 in the only tie involving two first division sides, a match which the locals could have won by a bigger margin had Aragoneses not been on great form on his return to his old side. The keeper stopped efforts from Muñoz, Ortíz and Cuéllar either side of half time before Muñoz finally beat him with a header from Pablo García's corner twenty minutes from the end. And Moha added a second in the final minutes to put the Pamplona based side on track for a berth in the last eight.
Match played on 13th January
Valladolid and Real Madrid played out a dull 0-0 draw in the last match of the round on Thursday night. Madrid's manager Vanderlei Luxemburgo put out a side packed with reserves, with a five man defence and Soldado partnering Michael Owen up front. However they caused few problems for Lledó in the local goal, with Solari and Soldado failing to convert chances in the first half and Salgado and Roberto Carlos shooting wide near the end of the match. Aduriz headed just over before the break at the other end, and César had to save from Alvaro, Sousa and Figueredo either side of half time. But otherwise there was little to entertain the crowd, and everything will now be decided in the return leg next week.