|Copa del Rey|
Fourth round, first leg
First division clubs entered the Spanish cup competition this week, with the tie between second division B's Benidorm and Barcelona brought forward to Tuesday night. Pep Guardiola put out a line up packed with reserve players, but his side were still able to win 0-1 thanks to a second half strike from Bojan, who ran on to curl a shot wide of Caballero ten minutes after the restart. The local keeper was to thank that the scoreline wasn't any bigger on a rainy night, with Bojan himself thwarted on several occasions. (29.10.08)
An extraordinary result on Wednesday night, with Villarreal thrashed 5-0 by second division B side Poli Ejido, their first defeat in seven months! Pellegrini rested most of his key players, with Fuentes and Cygan in defence and a USA strike force of Altidore and Rossi up front. But Jorge Molina beat Viera to open the scoring in the ninth minute, and then completed a hat-trick thanks to Juli assists either side of half time. The visitors brought on Cazorla and Llorente, but Raúl Torres and Nakor set up Gregory for two more in the last ten minutes.
That was not the only surprise of the day though, Sevilla also losing 1-0 to another 2B side Ponferradina. The Andalusians had only scraped through last season against Denía, and once again they had problems in the first leg. Rubén Vega, Irurzun and Jonathan Valle all tested Javi Varas in the first half, and although Sevilla fared better after the break, they were beaten in the end by a low shot from on-loan Racing Santander flanker Cristian Portilla in injury time.
Racing Santander were the only other first division club to lose to lower ranked opposition as it happens, Javier Clemente's Murcia coming from a goal down to beat them 2-1. Edu Bedia opened the scoring for the Cantabrians in the thirteenth minute with a little help from local midfielder Guerreiro, but goals in the second half from Dialiba and Sikora turned the scoreline around. Racing ended with ten men when Varela was sent off late on.
Defending champions Valencia had no trouble though seeing off the only surviving third division team Portugalete. Morientes turned in Hugo Viana's pass for the first in the tenth minute, and Vicente made it two midway through the first half. Urko Vera headed one back immediately after the restart, but Morientes got his second of the night two minutes later, and Zigic wrapped things up with five minutes to go.
Atlético Madrid beat 2B side Orihuela 0-1, although they had some problems doing so. Veteran striker Iban Espadas came close a couple of times for the locals before Diego Forlán picked up a cross from Antonio López to score what was to be the only goal on the stroke of half time. And with his side under pressure, Aguirre ran down the clock using up his substitutions, 16 year old youth international Keko making his first team debut near the end.
First division sides largely came out on top in the duels against 2A rivals, with Ogbeche scoring twice as Valladolid hammered ten man Hércules 1-5. Referee Clos Gómez sent off Dani Bautista midway through the first half, and Goitom put the visitors ahead a few minutes later. Escudero made it two soon after the restart, but it was not until a quarter of an hour to go that the goals flowed, Ogbeche and Pedro León adding two more, Dani Carril getting a consolation and Ogbeche finishing things off with two minutes to go.
Deportivo comfortably beat the second division's bottom team Elche 0-2 to virtually wrap up their tie. Riki beat Caballero with an angled shot with half an hour gone to give the Gallicians the lead, and Bodipo, agot the second after the keeper blocked a shot from Mista. And Betis won by the same result against Castellón, the returning Edu one of their scorers after Damià set him up midway through the second half. Juanma got the second a few minutes later after Sergio García's shot came back off the post, and the Andalusians ended with ten men after Arzu picked up a second yellow card near the end.
Elsewhere Solari got both goals for Almería in a 1-2 victory at Rayo Vallecano, the first after receiving a pass from Michel on the half hour mark, and the second ten minutes later after good work by Guilherme. Jesús Perera gave the locals a glimmer of hope with a late goal from Coke's pass. Espanyol were the only other first division side to falter, drawing 2-2 against Celta. An early David Rodríguez goal was soon overturned by a Callejón header and a second strike from Valdo, but Roberto Lago beat Cristian Alvarez with a quarter of an hour to go to level the scores.
There were four all first division ties, Athletic Bilbao getting a head start on Recreativo with a 2-0 victory. Ion Vélez netted the first from Iraola's cross and David López the second with a free kick late in the first half. Referee Teixeira Vitienes sent off Ersen Martin at the start of the second half for elbowing an opponent. And Sporting Gijón won 0-1 at Numancia in the match between two of the newly promoted sides, Omar scoring the only goal with ten minutes on the clock after Bilic laid back a long ball from Matabuena.
The other two games between top flight clubs ended all square. Málaga and Mallorca drew 1-1, Cheli picking up a pass from José Juan Luque to open the scoring a quarter of an hour before the break, and Keita equalising within seconds of the restart after Cleber and Trejo combined to set him up. Last year's losing finalists Getafe could only draw 0-0 against Osasuna, keepers Jacobo and Roberto the stars of the night. Local fans called for the resignation of coach Víctor Muñoz after the final whistle. (29.10.08)
Real Madrid followed in the footsteps of Villarreal and Sevilla, losing 3-2 to second division B side Real Unión on Thursday evening. A second minute strike by Juan Domínguez was cancelled out by Higuaín, who took advantage of a Guti pass to beat Otermin soon afterwards. Domíngez restored the lead with a header past Dudek in the twentieth minute, and although Saviola equalised again after the interval, Goikoetxea won it for the Basque team in the end. There was concern though for Madrid midfielder De la Red, who was under observation in hospital after collapsing on the pitch early on. (30.10.08)