Copa del Rey

Quarter finals, first leg

Match played on 25th January

A thrilling match between Athletic Bilbao and Valladolid to open the quarter finals, with the Basques eventually running out 3-2 winners on a cold, rainy night. The visitors were on a roll after knocking out Real Madrid in the last round, and they took the lead through Iñaki early on after the defence failed to clear. And they could have been further ahead before Del Horno equalised on the quarter hour mark with a shot out of the blue following a corner. That took the wind out of the visitors' sails though, and Ezquerro put Athletic in front when he got on the end of Tiko's cross in the second half. When Iraola got a third a few minutes later from the penalty spot after Rafa handled Ezquerro's header in the area it appeared to be all over. But Valladolid weren't finished, and Mateo brought a first class save out of Lafuente from a free kick before Aduriz closed the gap to a single goal, again from a penalty for hands by Javi González, to set up an interesting second leg.

Match played on 26th January

The tie between Sevilla and Osasuna is finely poised after the Andalusians won the first leg 2-1. The match was billed as high risk after previous encounters between the two ended in near riots on the pitch, and local defender Pablo Ruiz hobbled off early on after a clash with Milosevic. His replacement Aitor Ocio went close with a header almost immediately, and then helped keeper Notario stop the Serbian striker when free in front of goal. A bad back pass by Izquierdo to Cuéllar let in Antoñito for him to put the hosts ahead midway through the first half, but before the break the Navarrans were level after Ocio fouled Milosevic in the area, Aloisi converting the resulting penalty. Milosevic hit the bar soon after the restart, but Jesús Navas struck the winner later on, referee Muñiz Fernández turning down appeals by the visitors that Baptista had taken the ball out of play in the build up to the goal. It all starts again in a week's time.

Match played on 27th January

Second division B side Gramanet put up a plucky fight in their first ever appearance in the quarter finals, holding Betis to a 2-2 draw on their artificial pitch. The Catalans had already knocked out Barcelona, Levante and Lleida in previous rounds, and with the town of Santa Coloma being a catchment area for Andalusian emigrants, the small ground was packed to bursting with fans from both sides. The locals fell behind on the quarter hour mark when Fernando latched on to Edu's pass to force the ball past Morales, but soon afterwards they were level when Juanito lobbed the ball over the head of his own keeper Contreras while trying to clear. Ollés sent the local crowd wild when he put his side into the lead early in the second half after Contreras could only push out an effort from Aarón, but Marcos Assunçao levelled the scores later on from a free kick. With away goals counting double in the event of a tie, the first division side must now be firm favourites to reach the semi-final.

Match played on 2nd February

The fixture between Numancia and Atlético Madrid was due to be played on 26th January, but was called off by the referee after a heavy snow fall left the pitch unplayable. The two sides agreed to play the match on 2nd February, but conditions were still difficult a week later, and the game eventually ended in a 0-0 draw. Both sides put out defensive line ups with three central defenders, and chances were few and far between throughout. Salva and Fernando Torres both went close as the visitors dominated the first half, but ex Atlético keeper Juanma kept them out. And the Soria based side felt themselves unlucky to have a penalty appeal turned down when Perea handled in the area before the break. Rafa Jorda and Richard Nuñez hit the woodwork at either end after the restart, but otherwise there was little to report, and everything will now be decided in the Calderón stadium in a fortnight's time.