Copa del Rey

Quarter finals, first leg

Matches played on 22nd January

Surprises in the three first leg games played on Wednesday night, starting at La Coruña, where Deportivo were held for 85 minutes at least by second division Murcia before finally running out 1-0 winners. Irureta experimented putting out his three strikers in his starting line up, but that left them out of balance and they were not able to penetrate what is the best defence in the second division. Eventually the manager had to change his plans, bringing on Duscher and Héctor for Fran and Diego Tristán, but they were lucky to be let off the hook when referee Pérez Burrull turned down an appeal for a penalty on Juanma by Andrade. Eventually though Duscher put the fans out of their misery, sliding the ball wide of Reinke from the edge of the area after good work by Amavisca and Manuel Pablo. It was the Argentine midfielder's first goal for his club since joining three years ago, and at least gives them an advantage to take into the second leg next Thursday. Even that was not sure until the final whistle though, and number three keeper Dani Mallo had to save a late effort from Ismael to keep his side in front.

Atlético Madrid manager Luis Aragonés rested most of his first choice players and paid the price, his side losing 1-0 to the first division's bottom club Recreativo. The home side had the better of the first half, and visiting keeper Esteban did well to turn Xisco's shot away for a corner in the first half. He could do nothing though seven minutes after the restart when Viqueira bent a free kick on to the top corner of the net to put the Andalucians ahead. Things improved with the introduction of Dani and Correa, but then Stankovic got himself sent off for a second bookable offence to leave Atleti with ten men. Soon afterwards acting captain Aguilera was knocked unconscious when hit in the chest by the ball as Pernía tried to clear, and there were several moments of anxiety as medical staff tried to revive him. The veteran midfielder had apparently stopped breathing and doctors had to insert a Guedel tube and give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to bring him round, and referee Iturralde González ordered an ambulance on to the pitch to rush him off to hospital. Fortunately he recovered on his way to hospital, and after being kept overnight under observation he was allowed to return home. The question now is whether Atlético can recover as well next Tuesday night in the second leg.

Sevilla should have won their first leg game against Osasuna, at least on paper, with Joaquín Caparrós putting out his first choice line up and Javier Aguirre playing with a team made up of reserves. However they ended up drawing 1-1, thanks in part to a penalty miss by Toedtli early in the second half due to the poor state of the Chapín stadium pitch in Jerez, where the Andalucians were playing out the fourth and final game in exile following their ground closure. Sevilla's young forward Reyes was not even born the last time his side reached a semi-final 22 years ago, but he was their best player in the first half setting up Gallardo early on for him to bring a good save out of Unzué, and then a few minutes later winning the ball off Jusué to run on and score the opening goal. The lead lasted less than a quarter of an hour though as the visitors equalised with a freak goal, the ball bouncing past Notario off Javi Navarro's shoulder after a colleague tried to clear Puñal's free kick. Two minutes in to the second half referee Losantos Omar ruled that Antoñito had been fouled in the area, but Toedtli slipped as he was about to take the resulting penalty and put his kick over the bar. When Reyes had to leave the pitch injured a quarter of an hour from the end Sevilla's challenge fizzled out, and Osasuna are now favourites to go through in the Sadar stadium next Wednesday.

Match played on 23rd January

A Real Madrid side containing eight reserve players were held to a 1-1 draw by Mallorca in the Bernabeu stadium, and now have an uphill battle in the second leg next Wednesday. Del Bosque only included first choice players Roberto Carlos, Flavio and Ronaldo in his starting line up, with the Brazilian striker only coming in at the last minute in place of Tote, who was pulled out at the request of Betis to avoid him making his fifth appearance and therefore being unavailable for transfer. Despite the second string formation, it looked as if Madrid were on the road to victory when Portillo headed his eighth goal in the competition from Raúl Bravo's cross with less than a quarter of an hour on the clock. Mallorca were at full strength though, and Eto'o felt himself unlucky when he had two goals disallowed in the first half by referee Mejuto González, the first just before Portillo's strike for controlling the ball with his arm, and the second for a borderline offside. Leo Franco made a vital save from Ronaldo before the break, but after the restart it was the visitors who came out stronger, and César had to tip a Pandiani effort round the post. A couple of minutes later Mallorca equalised, Nadal chesting down a corner before firing a shot into the back of the net. Del Bosque was forced to bring on Raúl and Figo, but it was already too late and the game ended in a draw, giving Manzano's side an important advantage, away goal included, for next week's match at the San Moix stadium.