Copa del Rey, fifth round, first leg
Mallorca beat Almería 3-1 on Thursday evening to record their first win in two months. Keita opened the scoring early on for Manzano's side, and although José Ortíz equalised a minute later, Cléber Santana restored the lead from Jurado's corner shortly before half time. Esteban had saved an Aduríz penalty before that, but Varela wrapped things up after the interval.
An injury time goal from Fernando Llorente saved a 1-1 draw for Athletic Bilbao against neighbours Osasuna. With temperatures below zero there was little action for most of the ninety minutes. Pandiani appeared to have won it for Camacho's side though when he beat Iraizoz seven minutes from the end, but Llorente pounced on to a rebound to equalise right at the end. (08.01.09)
Second division B side Poli Ejido added another scalp to their belts, a 3-2 win over Espanyol increasing their fame after knocking Villarreal out of the cup in the last round. Hurtado's early headed goal for the visitors was cancelled out by a Jorge Molina penalty and a strike by Juli. And although Román levelled the scores again, Chico restored the lead with a spectacular shot from outside of the area. The visitors will be without Hurtado for next week's second leg after he picked up a second booking near the end.
Real Madrid's giant-killers Real Unión also put in a good performance, even though they went down 0-1 in the end to Betis. Damià got the only goal of the game in the eleventh minute after a good run, but the Irún based side could have saved a draw had Ricardo not kept out Goikoetxea after the restart.
All the other games were between first division sides, with Sevilla and Deportivo meeting for the first of three matches over the next eight days. The Andalusians went two up by the break, Luis Fabiano opening the scoring with a free kick and Kanouté adding the second, but Omar Bravo connected with a De Guzmán cross late on to make it 2-1 on the night.
Valencia came away from their visit to Racing Santander with the edge after a 1-1 draw, although they ended with nine men after Vicente and Miguel were sent off near the end. Colsa headed in to his own net following a corner shortly before half time, but Lacen equalised for the locals with a well struck free kick soon after the restart.
Sporting Gijón are favourites to go through in their tie against Valladolid after winning the match 3-1, although they would have been better placed had Canobbio not headed an important away goal in injury time. Barral scored twice in the first twenty minutes to give the Asturians the lead, and Carmelo made it three later in the first half. (07.01.09)
Barcelona are close to a place in the quarter finals after a 1-3 win at Atlético Madrid on Tuesday night. The star of the evening was once again Leo Messi, who scored a hat-trick to give his side a two goal lead for next week's second leg. Messi opened the scoring after picking up a return pass from Dani Alves, and got the second from the penalty spot after Heitinga was sent off for bringing him down. Ujfalusi headed one back from a corner, but Messi got his third of the night after Iniesta set him up later on. (06.01.09)