Copa del Rey, final phase, first round
Real Madrid cruised through to the quarter finals of the Spanish cup with a comfortable 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Thursday evening. López Caro put out a strong line up despite the victory the week before, and Robinho opened the scoring after taking a return pass from Guti in the first half. Sergio Ramos made it two after Lafuente failed to hold on to Beckham's free kick after the break, and Soldado and Robinho added two more late on for the final result. (12.01.06)
Six teams qualified for the quarter final stage on Wednesday night, including last season's cup winners Betis, who's 0-0 draw at home to Celta was enough to take them through after a 1-1 tie in the first leg in Vigo last week. The Andalusians were on top for most of the game, and could have finished things off earlier if Dani's header had not come back off the bar.
There was a similar result just down the road at the Sánchez Pizjuan stadium, but it was not enough for hosts Sevilla, who bow out thanks to their first leg defeat at local rivals Cádiz. Juande Ramos's side gave it their best shot, with Martí rattling the crossbar later on, but the visitors held on to the delight of a large contingent of visiting fans.
Deportivo had no problems at Osasuna though after a big win in the Riazor last week, Víctor's first half penalty ensuring their place in the last eight before a late penalty from Muñoz and an injury time strike from Romeo gave the Pamplona based side a 2-1 victory on the night. The Galicians want the final to be played in La Coruña in this their centenary year.
Barcelona were virtually through after their victory against second division B side Zamora last week, but they made sure with a 6-0 rout in the Nou Camp. Ezquerro scored within thirty seconds, and Larsson added two more in a minute before Motta headed a fourth close to half time. Van Bommel made it five after the restart and a late penalty from Maxi López wrapped things up. It could have been a bigger win though after Larsson hit the woodwork twice and Van Bommel once later on.
There were six goals as well on the other side of town, but in Espanyol's case it was touch and go before a 3-3 draw against Getafe saw them through. Riki cancelled out Jarque's first leg strike within two minutes and put Schuster's side ahead in the tie with a second headed goal a few minutes later, but Edu Costa got one back before the break and Jonathan turned the result around with two more after the restart. A Pernía penalty near the end though set up a nail biting finish.
Valencia also suffered against neighbours Villarreal despite their two goal cushion, Miguel finally putting their fears at rest with a second half strike to give them a 1-0 win. It could have been different though had Gonzalo's strike not been controversially ruled out just before the hosts scored.
Atlético Madrid and Zaragoza played out their first leg tie after the game was postponed last week due to a virus which eventually affected nineteen of the local players. It was not good news though for the home side, their 0-1 defeat leaving coach Carlos Bianchi on the verge of destitution. Ewerthon got the only goal for the visitors on the hour mark. (11.01.06)