First division sides entered the cup for the first time this week, with four red cards being shown in the first leg ties. One of those was for Granada’s Rubén Pérez midway through the first half of Tuesday’s tie at Leganés for a hard tackle on an opponent, and there was another for Deportivo’s Luisinho, who picked up two bookings at Llagostera the following day. The other two players to be sent off were from lower ranked teams, Barakaldo keeper Valens taking the long walk for giving away a late penalty against Valencia, and Huesca’s Cristian seeing red for a second bookable offence near the end of their match against Villarreal.

The big news of course though in the cup was the fact that Real Madrid fielded an ineligible player in their tie at Cádiz, and they could now be thrown out of the competition! The culprit was Cheryshev, who should have been banned after picking up a third yellow card in the final tie last season when he was playing on loan at Villarreal. The federation’s notification system is primitive (a list of all suspended players is sent to the clubs by fax in a general circular), but this has been the same for several years, and there is no real excuse why a big organization such as Madrid should not pick this up. After Cádiz “reluctantly” denounced the fact, the disciplinary committee came down hard on Madrid, awarding the tie to their opponents by a 3-0 scoreline and disqualifying the first division side from the competition, but club president Florentino Pérez said that they will fight the decision, claiming that they were not correctly notified, and that they will be taking the case to the supreme sporting tribunal if they have to. We await further news!

Back to more mundane things, and there were three red cards at the weekend in the latest round of league games. Celta’s Jonny was just returning from a one match ban, but he will be missing next weekend again after getting himself sent off for pulling back Betis midfielder Petros at the start of the second half of their game on Saturday, the referee ruling that it was a clear goal-scoring occasion. On Sunday Las Palmas defender got his marching orders for a second bookable offence with twenty minutes to go in their game at Gijón, and later in the evening Athletic’s San José fell into the trap set him by Málaga’s Charles, the young Spanish international red carded for a retaliatory push after the striker provoked him with less than a quarter of the game gone. All will serve out a one match ban, together with eight other players who reached the five yellow card threshold, Bruno and Dani Ceballos (Betis), Mosquera (Deportivo), Enzo Roco (Espanyol), Raúl Baena (Rayo), Yuri (Real Sociedad), Iborra (Sevilla) and Dani Parejo (Valencia). (09.12.15)

PS. The sporting administrative tribunal (TAD) turned down Real Madrid’s appeal to have the ban put on hold, and although the court will not give a definitive ruling pending the receipt of further documentation, Wednesday’s second leg tie will not take place. Madrid are therefore returning the money to fans who purchased tickets. (11.12.15)

(* suspension pending disciplinary meeting decision)

Villains Yellow cards Red cards (straight) Games banned Total points
Eric Bailly (Villarreal) 9 1 2 12
Escalante (Eibar) 10 0 2 12
Ebert (Rayo Vallecano) 4 1 (1) 4 10
Tissone (Málaga) 6 2 2 10
Víctor Sánchez (Espanyol) 7 1 2 10
Piqué (Barcelona) 3 1 (1) 4 9
Mascherano (Barcelona) 5 1 (1) 2 9
Jonny (Celta) 5 1 (1) 2* 9
Rubén Pérez (Granada) 5 1 (1) 2* 9
Simao (Levante) 2 1 (1) 4 8
Juanfran (Levante) 4 1 (1) 2 8
Diop (Espanyol) 6 1 1 8
Miguel Lopes (Granada) 6 1 1 8
Aythami (Las Palmas) 6 1 1* 8
Deyverson (Levante) 6 1 1 8
Bernardo (Sporting) 6 1 1 8
Javi Fuego (Valencia) 6 1 1 8
Recio (Málaga) 7 0 1 8
Nacho Cases (Sporting) 7 0 1 8
Mustafi (Valencia) 7 0 1 8