Real Madrid and Sevilla are the first teams to make it in to the semi-finals of the cup after both won through their quarter-final ties on Wednesday evening. Real Madrid went in to their second leg at Valencia with a two goal advantage from the week before, and a 1-1 draw on the night was enough to see them through. Mourinho will be missing several key players for the semi-final however as Casillas had to go off with a hand injury with only a quarter of an hour gone, and Coentrao and Di María were sent off in the second half. Adán came on for Casillas and almost immediately had to save from Nelson Valdez, but Guaita had to keep out Ronaldo and Di María at the other end before Benzema picked up a long Xabi Alonso pass to beat him on the stroke of half time. The away goal meant that Valencia had to score four to turn things around, and although Tino Costa leveled it on the night with a wide free kick which bounced under the keeper soon after the restart, the nine men kept things under control from then on. Madrid's opponents will be either Málaga or Barcelona, who are playing tomorrow night.
Earlier in the evening Sevilla cruised through 4-0 against a depleted Zaragoza side, who like Madrid also had two players sent off. Although the 0-0 draw in the first leg left the tie open, Manolo Jiménez opted to save his best players for the league, whereas Unai Emery put out a strong line up for his first game in charge at the Sánchez Pizjuán stadium. Diego López still had to make a couple of early saves from Javi Alamo and Víctor Rodríguez, but midway through the first half new signing José Fernández was shown a straight red card for a high kick on Reyes, and a few minutes later Negredo headed in Rakitic's corner to open the scoring. Rakitic himself made it two after a run from the left wing just before the interval, and twenty minutes in to the second half Negredo got the third from the penalty spot after Fran González brought down Cicinho in the area, the young debutant picking up a second booking for the foul. Navas and Rakitic went close after that, and with the game coming to an end Manu completed the scoring after Stevanovic laid back Cicinho's cross. (23.01.13)
Barcelona will meet Real Madrid in the semi-final of this season's edition of the Spanish cup after the Catalans beat Málaga 2-4 on Thursday evening! Barça needed to win the return leg after the 2-2 draw in the Nou Camp last week, and Pedro headed them in to an early lead from a Dani Alves cross. Three minutes later though the locals equalized, Joaquín stabbing a shot past Pinto after Duda put him through. And although Piqué restored the lead soon after the restart after controlling a pinpoint pass from Iniesta, Santa Cruz made it all square again with an angled shot off the far post following a Joaquín assist. That levelled the tie, but when Iniesta ran on to Fàbregas's return pass to put Barça ahead for the third time, the away goal advantage meant that the Andalusians would have to score two more to qualify. That looked an impossible task, and when Messi headed in another Alves cross for his team's fourth it was all over. A good fight by Málaga though, and their appreciative fans stayed on to applaud their team off the park at the end.
Atlético Madrid also won through to the last four after an aggregate 3-1 win against Betis earlier in the evening. Although two down from the first leg, the thought of a possible city semi-final against old rivals Sevilla spurred the locals on, and with a little more luck Rubén Castro in particular could have opened the scoring on two or three occasions before the break. However with the first half coming to a close a mix up between Amaya and his keeper Casto allowed Diego Costa to run on to a long punt by Miranda and roll the ball in to an empty net. Needing four goals to change the result, local coach Pepe Mel decided it was a hopeless case, resting Beñat and Campbell at half time and Rubén Castro midway through the second half. Even so they did get a 1-1 draw on the night, Jorge Molina converting a last minute penalty after he was fouled by Godín, but it will be Atlético and not Betis who will be visiting the Sánchez Pizjuán stadium next month. (24.01.13)