News Archive

Copa del Rey, fifth round, first leg

The last two ties took place on Thursday, with Celta closing in on a place in the quarter finals after a 0-3 victory at Cádiz. The second division B side had made it through to the last sixteen thanks to the disqualification of Real Madrid for fielding an ineligible player against them in the last round, and an enthusiastic crowd saw Quintana go close early on. However they were largely outclassed by the Galicians after that, and Guidetti opened the scoring midway through the first half, the Swedish striker picking up a pass from Orellana and firing in an angled shot which Ballesté couldn’t prevent from entering the net. The local keeper saved from Sergi Gómez after the restart, and Orellana shot wide before Jonny made it two with a shot which deflected in off Machado. And with ten minutes to go Guidetti rounded things off with his side’s third, heading in the rebound after Ballesté could only push out Señé’s acrobatic scissors kick.

Elsewhere Las Palmas beat Eibar 2-3 in an incident packed match to take the edge for the second leg. Hajrovic connected with Verdi’s pass to chip the opener past Irureta in the tenth minute, and although Aythami headed the equalizer from a long Valerón free kick five minutes later, Saúl Berjón restored the lead almost immediately after Juncà laid the ball across from the left. However Wakaso made it all square again with an impressive shot following a short Valerón free kick on the hour mark, and Hajrovic and Saúl Berjón were both sent off in the last ten minutes for hard tackles on Vicente Gómez and Wakaso. Mendilibar closed ranks, but with the game in injury time Momo latched on to Wakaso’s pass to beat the local keeper with an angled shot, and Wakaso could have added to the scoreline when he shot wide right at the end. (07.01.16)

A thrilling tie to start us off in the midweek cup games, Athletic Bilbao coming back from two goals down to beat Villarreal 3-2. With “Three Kings’ Day” being a public holiday in Spain, the match kicked off at mid-day in the San Mamés stadium. However despite putting out a much stronger line-up, the locals found themselves two down at the break, Leo Baptistao opening the scoring after Samuel García headed across a long ball from Samu Castillejo, and García making it two after Castillejo put him clear on a quick breakaway. Barbosa had to save from Iturraspe though before the break, and eight minutes into the second half Williams ran on to Beñat’s pass to get one back. A quarter of an hour later substitute Aduríz levelled the scores after Williams and Raúl García combined to set him up, and with ten minutes to go Laporte got on the end of a long free kick from Beñat to beat the visiting keeper from a tight angle. Villarreal’s away goals still give them a slight edge for next week’s second leg, although they will be without Mario Gaspar, who was sent off after picking up a second yellow card near the end.

Two more games took place on Wednesday afternoon, Valencia virtually securing their place in the quarter finals with a 4-0 victory over Granada. Negredo put the Ches ahead early on, winning the ball off Mainz before running on to beat Kelava, the referee waving away appeals for a foul. Rochina and Peñaranda went close at the other end, but with ten minutes to go to the break Rodrigo made it two after Santi Mina set him up in a quick breakaway. Mat Ryan had to be at his best to save a Babín header after the interval, but with an hour on the clock Negredo made it three from the penalty spot after Uche brought down Mina in the area. Kelava kept out Rodrigo a couple of times after that, but Negredo wrapped things up later on, completing his hat-trick with a second penalty after he was fouled by Doria to give new coach Gary Neville a first win since taking over from Nuno a month ago.

Deportivo though could only draw 1-1 against second division side Mirandés, and they still have work to do in next week’s return leg in the Riazor stadium. The locals already had a reputation as giant-killers before they knocked out Málaga in the last round, and Sangalli brought a good save out of Manu Fernández before Alex Ortíz got on the end of an Abdón Prats centre to give them the lead midway through the first half. Oriol Riera and Jonathan Rodríguez both hit the woodwork though either side of half time, and Raúl Fernández had to save from Mosquera and Rodríguez before Lopo headed the equalizer from a Cardoso corner with a quarter of an hour to go. And Depor could have won it in the end had Riera not seen his shot deflected onto the bar again in the last minute.

Barcelona are also looking good for a place in the last eight after they beat city rivals Espanyol 4-1 later in the evening. The visitors had already held their hosts to a physical 0-0 draw at the weekend, and they went ahead in the ninth minute when Marco Asensio put Caicedo through for him to beat Ter Stegen. However just four minutes later Messi picked up an Iniesta through ball to level the scores, and with two minutes to go to the break the Argentinian forward beat Pau López again with a well struck free kick which went in off the crossbar. Soon after the restart Piqué connected with a Messi cross to score a third, and López had to be at his best to keep out a shot from debutant Arda Turan and another Messi free kick minutes later. Once again though tempers frayed, and Espanyol were left with nine men when Hernán Pérez and Diop were both sent off, the former for a second bookable offence, and the latter for insulting an argumentative Luis Suárez. With two minutes to go Neymar ran on to a return Messi pass to make it four, and the game ended with clashes between the two teams, the referee reporting Suárez for picking a fight with the opposing players in the tunnel on the way off the pitch.

That was only one of three local derbies though, Sevilla getting the edge over hosts Betis with a 0-2 victory in the Villamarín stadium. Krohn-Dehli cut a swathe through the local defence to give the visitors the lead with just under a quarter of an hour on the clock, and local keeper Dani Giménez had to save from Benega and Kolodziejczak before the break. Some four minutes in to the second half Krychowiak scrambled a second after Coke headed a long free kick back into the goalmouth, and Banega hit the bar and then the post in quick succession soon afterwards. The locals had ac chance to get back in the tie with ten minutyes to go when Kolo brought down Dani Ceballos in the area, but Rubén Castro fired the resulting penalty over the bar, and things got worse for under pressure coach Pepe Mel when N’Diaye was sent off for a second bookable offence near the end.

Meanwhile neighbours Rayo Vallecano and Atlético Madrid drew 1-1in the last match of the evening. Visiting manager Diego Simeone made several changes to his line-up, including new signings Augusto Fernández and Kranevitter in his starting eleven. However they were pushed back early on, Miku hitting the side netting and Moyà having to keep out a Nacho free kick. With ten minutes to go to the break Nacho won the ball off Thomas before drilling a low shot past Moyà and Llorente and Manucho both went close either side of half time. Carrasco brought a good save out of Juan Carlos though at the other end, and ten minutes into the second half substitute Saúl Ñíguez made it all square with a low shot after Vietto laid the ball across from the right. Llorente and Vietto hit the woodwork after that, but in the end both coaches decided to leave the final outcome for next Thursday’s return leg. (06.01.16)