Copa del Rey - Forth round first leg

The cup is now entering the more interesting stages, with Real Madrid joining the competition in this round after being awarded a bye in the last. They came up against on form Zaragoza four days after returning from Brazil and two days after playing Mallorca in the league. Luckily jet lag did not affect 18 year old third choice keeper Iker Casillas, who, with Illgner injured and Bizarri playing with Argentina in the pre-Olympic tournament, once again was the saviour of his team. This was Zaragoza's second scoreless draw in a row, after obtaining the same result against Barcelona in the league. Barcelona themselves came up against one of the competition's giant killers, Ourense, who eliminated Mallorca in the last round. In the end logic prevailed, with Barça's super-substitutes, including the De Boer twins, Guardiola, Sergi and Hesp, all playing and helping their side to a 1-2 win, Ourense's first home defeat of the season. Luis Enrique, with a shot from the edge of the area, and Dani, with a toe poke from a sitting position which bobbled slowly past keeper Ramón, were the scorers for Barça. Hesp saved a penalty from Garitano in the second half, but Oscar Martínez followed up to score. The other second division B side, Real Unión, were comprehensively beaten 0-3 by Atlético Madrid, who rested several first choice players, including Kiko, who told the press that he would be looking for a move at the end of the season if the court action against the club's owners, Jesus Gil and his family, continued. Hardly surprising, as he will not get paid the offshore part of his salary whilst the legal administrator is in charge. Espanyol's caretaker manager Paco Flores took over for the first time and proved the old adage, new manager, victory for sure. He left foreign players Navas, Rotchen and Benítez on the bench but still saw his side beat on form Celta 2-1 with a spectacular volley from Galca in the second half. Deportivo and Oviedo both left out first choice players, including keepers Songo'o and Esteban, and paid the price, losing by a single goal to second division teams Osasuna and Mérida. Both teams are more interested in the league at the moment, although at different ends, and are therefore less interested in progressing in this competition. In the all second division clash, Compostela go into the second leg with a clear three goal to nil victory, and are looking to enter the quarter finals for the first time in their history. Meanwhile on form Rayo Vallecano cruised to a comfortable victory at Lleida, with the two Miguels, 'Michel I' and 'Michel II', both scoring, although Lleida gave themselves an outside chance with a late goal from their Miguel (in this case known as 'Mikel') to pull back to 2-3.

The return legs will be on or around 2nd February. See our cup section for full results and scorers.

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