Defending champions Barcelona will have an uphill battle to retain their title after losing 1-2 against Sevilla in the Nou camp. Messi hit the post and Diego Capel had a goal disallowed by referee Pérez Burrull before the break, but Capel latched on to Perotti's cross to open the scoring on the hour mark. Pérez ruled out another goal by Bojan before half time substitute Ibrahimovic picked up a long ball to beat Palop from a tight angle, but a minute later Chigrinskiy gave away a penalty on Capel, and Negredo stepped up to restore the lead from the spot. Messi should have equalised late on and Dani Alves had another strike ruled out by the referee, but the visitors held on to take a single goal lead in to next week's second leg. (05.01.10)
More surprises in the cup on Wednesday, with Atlético Madrid virtually out of the competition after losing 3-0 to second division side Recreativo Huelva. Fornaroli turned Aitor's cross past De Gea to open the scoring with a quarter of an hour gone, and five minutes later Ujfalusi got himself sent off for a foul on the goalscorer. Soon afterwards Barrales made it two from the penalty spot after debutant Cedric Mabwati brought down Aitor inside the area, and Candeias wrapped things up with a third goal after Emilio Sánchez set him up with two minutes to go.
Valencia are also struggling after a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Deportivo. Things could have been different had Marchena not had a goal ruled out for a dubious offside in only the third minute. But two minutes after the restart Guardado got ahead of his marker to poke home a centre from Juan Rodríguez, and eight minutes later Pablo Alvarez picked up a pass from Zé Castro and ran on to make it two. The only good news for the locals was the return of Silva and Vicente after long injuries, the former deflecting Banega's shot past Manu with twenty minutes to go to give his side hope for the second leg.
Second division B side Alcorcón put up a good fight against Racing Santander, but in the end they were beaten 2-3. Having knocked out Real Madrid in the last round the locals started full of confidence, but they went behind when Christian (who had earlier cleared a shot off the line) headed in from close up after Moratón headed Arana's wide free kick back in to play. Geijo got the second, firing the ball back in to an empty net after keeper Juanma and Ernesto messed up a clearance on the muddy pitch just a minute after the restart, and although Iñigo bundled one back following Ernesto's corner, Moratón restored the two goal cushion after Juanma failed to hold on to another Arana free kick. Alcorcón kept on going though, and young keeper Mario had to make a couple of important saves before Borja Gómez finally beat him for a second time after Iñigo headed on Sergio Mora's corner with two minutes to go.
The tie between Celta and Villarreal is still in the balance though after the two sides drew 1-1 in Vigo. Rossi connected with Cani's through ball to give the visitors the lead in the twelfth minute, and they could have been two up had referee Turienzo Alvarez not ruled out incorrectly a strike by Llorente a few minutes later. Substitute Arthuro headed the equaliser however from a Trashorras free kick just before the interval, and Botelho and Arthuro both wasted chances to give the second division side the edge after the restart. (06.01.10)
Second division teams came out on top on Thursday, with Hércules and Rayo Vallecano both winning their respective first leg ties against top flight opposition. Hércules beat Osasuna 2-1, Cristian opening the scoring for the Alicante based side with just over a quarter of an hour gone after Tote and Rafa Jordà combined to set him up. Jorge Galán equalised early in the second half after keeper Unai Alba failed to hold on to a shot from Rúper. But Del Olmo restored the lead midway through the second half, and new signing Portillo came close to making it three against his old side when he hit the post with a direct free kick.
Rayo Vallecano also won 2-1 against Mallorca, who played over half the match on a snow covered pitch with ten men after Mattioni was shown a second yellow card eight minutes before half time. Veteran midfielder Michel ghosted past Lux to put the home side ahead on the quarter hour mark, but Julio Alvarez levelled the scores a few minutes later with an angled shot past Dani. Collantes restored the lead though with a header from Michel's cross on the stroke of half time, and substitute Chori Castro just failed to save the draw when his lob just cleared the crossbar late on.
A 2-1 result as well between first division sides Málaga and Getafe, although the locals will be ruing the fact that they allowed their opponents back in to the tie after going two up at the break. Apoño gave them an early lead with a shot in off the post, and Edinho made it two with a well struck free kick just before the interval. But midway through the second half Stepanov looped the ball over his own keeper Santamaría trying to clear Albín's cross, and Michel's side were back in it. (07.01.10)