|Copa del Rey|
Fourth round, second leg
Real Madrid are out of the cup! Bernd Schuster's side were eliminated by second division B side Real Unión on the away goal rule after the second leg finished 4-3! The Basque team went ahead twice, Abasolo opening the scoring with just under a quarter of an hour gone, and Salcedo beating Dudek for the second four minutes after the break. But Raúl equalised both times, the first a header over the keeper from Marcelo's cross, and the second after Sneijder and Saviola combined to set him up. Youngster Alberto Bueno got a third with an impressive shot from outside of the area, and then Raúl completed a hat-trick with a long ball in to the area which Bueno stepped over to fool keeper Eduard. Madrid appeared to be through, but Eneko Romo headed a third goal for the Irún based side in the last minute to complete one of the biggest surprises in Spanish cup history. Schuster's job is hanging by a thread! (11.11.08)
Villarreal were never expected to overturn the 5-0 first leg result against second division B side Poli Ejido, but they could have done better in the second leg than draw 1-1 at home. Although Mati Fernández hit the bar before the break, Poli actually took the lead at the beginning of the second half, Jorge Molina scoring his fourth in the tie and his sixth in the competition with a clever back-heel from Juli's cross. A few minutes later Mati Fernández set up Guille Franco to equalise, but needing six more to win the game the locals gave up. Both sides had players sent off later on though Raúl Torres for brining down Franco, and Javi Venta for giving away a penalty on Antoñito. Viera saved Nakor's spot kick to at least maintain the unbeaten home record, but that was about all they could salvage from this one.
Otherwise there were no real surprises on Wednesday, although several of the top sides had problems seeing off lower ranked opposition. Barcelona could only beat Benidorm 1-0 thanks to a late goal from Messi, and that after the keeper had saved his penalty kick following a foul by Ruano on Bojan. Pep Guardiola had put out a strong side, but Pinto had to push an early free kick from Castell on to the post to prevent the visitors from cancelling out the first leg lead. Caballero saved from Bojan and Messi before the break, but Flavio headed a good chance over after the restart. Eventually Guardiola had to bring on Xavi and Eto'o to complete the line-up, and it was only right at the end that they made sure.
Atlético Madrid were another top flight side who struggled, Aguirre's team held to a 0-0 draw against Orihuela and only going through thanks to Forlán's strike in the first leg. Again the coach put out a strong line-up, but even though Seitaridis, Luis García, Sinama-Pongolle and Forlán had numerous chances, they were unable to beat Burgada in the visiting goal. And with the game already in injury time it took a lunging save from Coupet to keep out a deflected shot from Brenes from bouncing in to the net. After the score-less draw against Osasuna at the weekend, th fans were none too happy.
Comfortable wins for the rest though, with Valencia winning 3-0 against the only remaining regional third division side, Portugalete. The Ches were already three up from the first leg, and even though Unai Emery put out a side of reserves and youngsters, Angulo ran through to open the scoring in the twentieth minute. B team player Michel got the second on the hour mark, picking up a long pass to beat Botja, and bursting into tears over the emotion of it all! And Pablo Hernández wrapped things up after the keeper could only push out Zigic's cross.
Two late goals from Hércules gave them a 2-2 draw at Valladolid, but the four goal cushion from the first leg was more than enough to see the first division club through. Mendilibar used the occasion to try out a new formation, and his side went ahead early in the second half when Víctor converted a penalty after Nano headed Canobbio's corner against the post and was then brought down as he went for the rebound. Medunjanin made it two with a volley from the edge of the area, but Sendoa scored two in a minute near the end to level the scores and save face for the visitors.
Almería had no problems finishing off Rayo Vallecano, building on their first leg lead with a 3-0 victory in the return match. Visiting coach Pepe Mel put out an aggressive line-up, with Pachón, Piti and Perera in attack. It almost worked when Piti went close before the break, but two from José Ortíz in a four minute period around the hour mark put the result beyond their reach. Corona set up the second for his team captain, and scored the third himself in the last minute.
Deportivo had beaten Elche 2-0 in their first leg tie, and they repeated the scoreline in the Riazor stadium. The local fans gave an ovation to visiting coach Claudio, a star striker in his time at La Coruña, but that was all the concession his side got. Mista had a goal disallowed for offside before the interval, and Pablo Alvarez put the Galicians ahead from the penalty spot after Iván Amaya handled in the area with an hour on the clock. And substitute Omar Bravo got the second a quarter of an hour later after controlling Sergio's lofted pass on his chest, the first goal the Mexican striker has scored for the club.
Betis copied Deportivo's first and second leg scorelines, a 2-0 win over Castellón taking them comfortably through to the next round. The timing was fairly similar as well, Emaná cutting a swathe through the middle to shoot low past Oliva eighteen minutes in to the second half, and Sergio García running on to Juande's long pass to score the second just a couple of minutes later.
Racing Santander were the only other first division side to start the second leg at a disadvantage, but a 2-0 win in the Sardinero stadium took them through against Murcia. The on-form Tchité started things off in the twelfth minute, his shot from outside of the area taking a deflection off Lillo to wrong-foot Elía. Coltorti had to save from Campos at the other end after the break, but Jonathan Pereira made sure of victory near the end, picking up Serrano's pass and lobbing the keeper for his side's second.
Espanyol built on the 2-2 draw from their first leg at Celta, with Jarque heading in Nené's early corner on a rainy night in Barcelona to put them on track for a 3-0 victory. Renán headed a second corner in to his own net later in the first half, and Valdo, Rufete and Jonathan Soriano all went close before Valdo headed Rufete's cross past Falcón to complete the scoreline.
There were three all first division matches, a late penalty giving Athletic Bilbao an aggregate victory over Recreativo despite a 2-1 defeat on the night. Within half an hour the Andalusians had cancelled out the two goal lead from the first leg, Akalé heading home Casado's free kick and Ersen Martín heading a second past Gorka minutes later. Keeper Roberto fouled Ion Vélez in the area though with a quarter of an hour to go, and Llorente drove home the resulting spot kick.
Sporting Gijón added to their first leg lead with a 2-0 win over Numancia, taking them through to the last sixteen for the first time in seven years. Barral headed the first from Pedro's long free kick midway through the first half. And although half time substitute Quero caused a few problems, Barral beat De Miguel for a second time later in the second half to wrap things up.
Mallorca saw off Málaga in the other all-first division tie, the Balearic Islanders beating the Andalusians 2-0 to go through 3-1 on aggregate. David Navarro got the first at the second attempt after picking up a pass from Callejón, and Castro almost got a second when Cuadrado deflected his shot on to the post. But Apoño came close to taking the tie in to extra time before Keita ran on to an Aduríz pass in the last minute to beat Goitia and make sure of the victory. Málaga's Weligton was sent off after the second goal for insulting the referee. (12.11.08)
Sevilla had no problems overturning their first leg deficit against Ponferradina on Thursday night, Luis Fabiano scoring a hat-trick in a 4-0 victory. The Brazilian striker celebrated his return to the side guiding a long header past the keeper from Romaric's cross on the half hour mark. And three minutes after the restart he ran through to chip keeper Alejandro for his side's second. There was a brief fright when Rubén Vega's shot hit the bar and came down over the line, but referee Iturralde González didn't see it and waved play on. That would have put the second division B side ahead on the away goal rule, but a couple of minutes later Luis Fabiano completed his hat-trick with a shot on the turn, and Maresca rounding things off with a first time volley in the last minute.
Osasuna clocked up their first victory of the season, Pandiani scoring the only goal in 180 minutes of football to give his side a 1-0 win over last season's runners-up Getafe. The Pamplona based side had only scored three all season, and they only got one this time thanks to a mistake by keeper Jacobo on the half hour mark, the striker intercepting his return pass to Belenguer and poking the rebound in to the net. Jacobo did make some good saves after that, but the damage was already done.
All of that means that there will be fourteen sides from the first division in the next round draw, with second division B teams Real Unión and Poli Ejido the odd ones out. The Federation has yet to announce when the draw will take place, but matches will be played over two legs in early January. (13.11.08)