Real Madrid and Valencia opened the quarter finals on Tuesday evening in a match which could have gone either way, although in the end Madrid won it 2-0 to take a significant advantage into next week's second leg. Ronaldo and Modric fired shots just wide early on, but Jonas tested Casillas a couple of times before Benzema put the locals ahead after Essien and Khedira combined to set him up shortly before the break. Soldado felt himself unlucky to be pulled up two or three times for dubious offsides though, and Jonas missed the easiest of chances when free on goal after Casillas could only push out Soldado's shot. With twenty minutes or so to go however Guardado turned Coentrao's cross in to his own net under pressure from Higuaín, and only a couple of top class saves by Guaita prevented Ronaldo from increasing the lead late on. (15.01.13)
The first big surprise of the quarter finals on Wednesday night, with ten man Málaga holding Barcelona to a 2-2 draw in the Nou Camp. The first three goals came in a five minute period midway through the first half, Iturra winning the ball off Thiago to put the visitors ahead, but Messi running through from his own half to equalize, and Puyol heading in Thiago's corner just a minute later. Once again Alexis missed a couple of sitters in the first half, but Buonanotte fired a shot just over the bar on the stroke of half time, and Pinto had to be on his toes to keep out Eliseu and Seba Fernández after the restart. When Monreal was sent off for bringing down Pedro with a quarter of an hour to go however, it looked like Barça's win was secure, but Camacho got on the end of Duda's long free kick in the last minute to make it all square once again. Vilanova's side will now have to repeat last weekend's victory in Málaga in the second leg if they are go through to a semi-final meeting with the winner of the tie between Real Madrid and Valencia.
Earlier in the evening Zaragoza and Sevilla drew 0-0, a dull game, but a good result for Sevilla's new coach Unai Emery in his first match in charge just a day after taking over from Michel. The Andalusians had the better chances in the first half, Negredo getting the ball in the net only to be pulled up for a borderline offside, and Maduro heading a Rakitic free kick just wide of the post. After the restart Alvaro blocked a dangerous shot from Reyes, and the locals didn't trouble Palop until he had to make a couple of saves from Postiga later in the second half. With the game coming to a close Negredo and Navas both went close again, but although they didn't get the away goal they wanted, Sevilla go in to next week's second leg with a slight edge. (16.01.13)
A possible Sevilla city semi-final derby is looking less likely after Betis lost 2-0 to Atlético Madrid on Thursday evening. Simeone's side got off to a flying start, Falcao heading in a Raúl García cross in the eleventh minute, and Filipe Luis firing home a second after a shot from Diego Costa was blocked some twelve minutes later. The Andalusians failed to convert a quadruple chance though later in the first half, with Courtois and his defence stopping everything, and although Falcao had a strike ruled out for a borderline offside, Rubén Castro came close to scoring that vital away goal when he just failed to get on the end of a cross from the left wing on the stroke of half time. After the restart the visitors had the better of the chances, but Courtois made the save of the night from Jorge Molina, and Atleti held on for what was their ninth clean sheet in a row in the Calderón stadium. (17.01.13)