The semi-final between Atlético Madrid and Sevilla is in the balance after the first leg ended 2-1 in favour of the home team. It was a strange game though, all three goals coming in the second half from the penalty spot after players handled in the area. The locals had the better of the first half, with Koke testing new keeper Beto and Adrián firing a shot wide, although Courtois had to be at his best to tip a long effort from Negredo over the bar before the break. Soon after the restart Spahic was sent off after picking up a second booking when he blocked the ball with his hand in the area, and Diego Costa stepped up to fire home the spot kick. Five minutes later everything was levelled up when Negredo converted a second penalty after Godín was red-carded for stopping a chip by the striker with his arm, but Costa drilled home a third penalty a few minutes later to restore the lead, this time the perpetrator being Fernando Navarro. The left back was only booked in the incident, but he too got his marching orders with five minutes to go after bringing down Costa as he advanced on goal. A close one to call, although Sevilla's away goal may prove the key to the second leg four weeks from now. (31.01.13) .
Honours were shared in the Bernabeu stadium, with Real Madrid and Barcelona playing out a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their semi-final. As expected, it was an intense "clásico", with Pinto having to save a Ronaldo free kick as early as the second minute. Later in the first half Xavi rattled the bar with a free kick and then had a shot cleared off the line by Varane after a mix up between Carvalho and new keeper Diego López, and either side of half time Benzema put a couple of good chances wide of the target. Five minutes after the restart though a wayward clearance by Callejón was played back in to the area by Messi, and Fàbregas ran on to put the visitors ahead. Soon afterwards Varane and Piqué made vital tackles from Fàbregas and Ronaldo, who had just missed a header from close up minutes earlier, and Pedro got free on goal only to curl his shot wide. With ten minutes to go however Varane got above his markers to connect with Özil's cross and head home the equalizer, setting up a mouth-watering second leg in the Nou Camp in a month's time. (30.01.13)