Two more matches brought forward this week from the fourth round of the cup, both involving the Europa League participants who have European commitments next week. Atlético Madrid kicked off the evening against Albacete, one of the teams relegated from the second division last season, and Manzano paid the price for leaving several of his key players at home, his side losing 2-1 on the night. Calle put the locals ahead from the penalty spot on the half hour mark after Domínguez handled in the area, but Atlético were given a penalty of their own at the beginning of the second half, Miguel Nuñez sent off for bringing down Juanfran in the area. Adrián fired his kick over the bar though, and the visitors were also left with ten men when Domínguez was shown a second yellow card on the hour mark. Zurdo crashed home the resulting free kick to put his team two up, but Adrián made up for his penalty miss with a vital away goal after Assunçao put him through near the end.
Later in the evening Athletic Bilbao visited Oviedo, another side who have seen better days. Bielsa wasn't taking any chances though and put out a strong side, only missing the injured Llorente. And in the end he needed all the resources at his disposal as the second division B side put up a good fight before going down 0-1 in the end. The only goal came early on, De Marcos running on to a Muniain assist to beat Lledó, but after that the local keeper put in a strong performance with saves from De Marcos before the break and Susaeta, Ander and Iraola after the restart. Urged on by a 16,000 crowd the home side gave their best shot, Jandrín in particular going close a couple of times after the interval, but in the end Athletic's defence held fast to take a one goal advantage in to the second leg. The rest of the first leg matches take place next Tuesday, the outstanding ties being Real Madrid's visit to Ponferradina and Valencia's fixture at Cádiz. (08.12.11)