Real Madrid virtually sealed their place in the next round with a 0-3 victory at Numancia on Thursday. As expected, Zidane changed most of his line up, but Bale put them ahead from the penalty spot shortly before the break. The second division side were left with ten men when Diamanka was sent off midway through the second half, and an Isco penalty and a Borja Mayoral header in the last five minutes wrapped things up. Defending champions Barcelona also travelled to Celta without several key players, but they came away from the Balaidos stadium with a 1-1 draw which gives them the edge for next week’s return leg. Youngster José Arnáiz opened the scoring for the visitors on the quarter hour mark, but Pione Sisto made it all square a few minutes later. Elsewhere Leganés beat Villarreal 1-0, Amrabat getting the only goal soon after the interval, and Levante won 1-2 at Espanyol, Gerard Moreno heading the Catalans into the lead with half an hour gone, but a controversial Morales penalty and a second half strike by Ivi turning the scoreline around. (04.01.18)
The short winter break is over, and the new year opened with the first legs of the fifth round of the cup. Four teams were in action on Wednesday, including Atlético Madrid, who are almost sure of a place in the last eight after a 0-4 win at second division B side Lleida. A Godín header and a Fernando Torres strike put Simeone’s team two up at the break, and Diego Costa celebrated his return scoring the third with his first touch after coming on a substitute. The Catalans were left with ten men when Trilles was sent off, and Griezmann completed the scoring with a direct free kick in injury time. Last season’s runners-up Alavés are also close to qualifying after they beat the other regional side Formentera 1-3. B team striker Demirovic took advantage of a first start to score two goals either side of half time, and Munir got the third later on. The Balearic islanders put up a good fight though, Javi Rosa momentarily equalising at the start of the second half.
Sevilla’s new coach Vicenzo Montella got off to a good start, the Andalusians winning 0-2 at neighbours Cádiz later in the evening. The second division team had knocked out Sevilla’s city rivals Betis in the last round, but early goals by Nolito and Jesús Navas gave the visitors a comfortable victory, albeit that Sergio Rico had to save a Salvi penalty later on. Las Palmas were under new management as well, Paco Jémez returning to his home town as the Canary Islander’s fourth coach this season. They got off to a good start against Valencia, Calleri giving them the lead shortly before the break, but substitute Rodrigo saved a 1-1 draw for the visitors near the end. (03.01.18)