Copa del Rey, first round
Villarreal were the fifth side from the first division to be eliminated by a lower division Catalan team after they lost 2-1 at Girona on Thursday. Pellegrini's side actually took the lead five minutes in to the second half through Peña, but Caballero levelled from the penalty spot and Eloy gave the second division B club the victory when he headed past López Vallejo in the last minute. (28.10.04)
Surprises in the cup on Wednesday night and they all came from Catalonia, where no less than four first division sides were knocked out, including the current league leaders Barcelona and reigning league and cup winners Valencia and Zaragoza, plus Barcelona's city rivals Espanyol. All the other first division sides who played this evening made it through, although Betis and Levante were taken to penalties and Mallorca, Racing and Albacete only qualified in extra time.
The biggest shock of the night was at Gramanet, where Barcelona were unable to score on the second division B side's artificial pitch in 120 minutes, and ended up losing to a goal from Olles in extra time. Earlier in the evening their neighbours Espanyol lost on a penalty shoot out to Terrassa after drawing the match 1-1, Martín Posse equalising after Jesús had put the second division side ahead. The locals held on for almost an hour with ten men after Vanzini was sent off.
Last year's cup winners Zaragoza were beaten 2-1 by Nàstic, a last minute strike not enough to pull back two earlier goals. Víctor Muñoz's side played the last half hour with nine men after central defenders Milito and Alvaro were both sent off. And reigning league champions Valencia continued their recent bad run, losing 1-0 at Lleida thanks to a strike by Crusat a quarter of an hour from the end.
Several other first division sides struggled, with Betis and Levante both unable to score against second division B sides Alcalá and Badalona respectively, and Racing throwing away a two goal lead at Amurrio but winning in the end 2-3 thanks to a strike by Morán. Controversy at Rayo Vallecano, where the game was held up for several minutes as players and fans protested the referee's decision to award a penalty to manager-less Mallorca in the last minute of extra time, Farinós eventually driving home the spot kick for a 0-1 win.
Albacete also left it late, a goal two minutes from the end of extra time by Iván Díaz taking them through at Ceuta, and there were single goal victories as well for Athletic Bilbao at Segoviana, (Yeste scoring late on), Getafe at Las Palmas (Riki getting the goal late in the first half) and Sevilla at Algeciras (Aranda striking on a rainswept pitch). Real Sociedad also had to come back from a goal down at Burgos to win 1-3, substitute Kovacevic saving the day as they scored three times in the last half hour.
In fact only three first division sides made it into the second round without too many problems, including bottom side Numancia, who put their troubles behind them to beat Recreación 0-3. Fernando Torres and Salva were on the scoresheet as Atlético Madrid beat Ourense 0-3, and Málaga won 0-2 at Don Benito despite resting many of their top names.
The top two in the second division were knocked out, Xerez being beaten 0-1 at home by Ciudad Murcia and Poli Ejido getting thrashed 4-0 at Cádiz. Of the three teams relegated from the first division last season, only Valladolid won through on penalties against Eibar after a scoreless draw, Celta losing 3-1 at Tenerife and Manolo Preciado's Real Murcia putting in another awful performance after being beaten 4-1 by second division B side Lorca.
As well As Gramanet and Lorca, three other second division B sides made it into the second round draw after beating second division A opposition. Mirandés came from two goals down to beat Salamanca 3-2 in extra time, and Lanzarote beat Racing Ferrol by the same score. Cultural Leonesa also qualified after beating Alavés on penalties after a 1-1 draw, and only Pontevedra won over their lower division opponents, beating Vecindario 2-3 in extra time.
There was one other all second division A clash, Elche fighting back with two goals in a minute late on to beat Sporting Gijón 1-2. Córdoba should have played Almería but their game was called off due to a waterlogged pitch on a rainy night throughout Spain, and the fixture between Conquense and Recreativo was also postponed for the same reason. The last match between Girona and Villarreal takes place tomorrow night. (27.10.04)
The Spanish cup began this week, with three matches brought forward to Tuesday night. Deportivo La Coruña were the first team to kick off against regional third division side Cerceda, and they had little problem after Diego Tristán put them ahead midway through the first half. Both sides were left with ten men after Nacho and Sergio were sent off after a scuffle on the half hour mark, and Tristán wrapped things up with a second goal ten minutes from the end.
Real Madrid manager García Remón rested most of his first choice players against Leganés, but still put out a side which included Owen and Morientes up front. And they were to combine to get a goal apiece, with Morientes finishing off after the keeper could only push out Owen's shot early on and repaying the compliment in the third minute after the restart setting up the England striker for his third in eight days. Dani Ruíz did get one back from a free kick though for a 1-2 final scoreline.
And Osasuna made three out of three for first division sides, although they were taken to a penalty shoot out by Castellón after ending 0-0 after extra time. The second division B side could even have won it after hitting the woodwork twice in the match, but Javier Aguiire's team eventually went through 2-4 on spot kicks. (26.10.04)