|Copa del Rey|
Final phase, quarter final second leg
Matches played on 25th January
More controversy in this ill-fated Copa del Rey when the tie between Valencia and Deportivo called off just before half time after a linesman was hit by an object thrown from the crowd. The atmosphere was already hostile in the Mestalla stadium before kick off after last week's controversial first leg, and when Marchena was sent off in the eighth minute for elbowing Arizmendi it was even more so. A minute before the break David Villa beat Molina with an angled shot to make it 1-0 on the night and level the scores overall, but in the ensuing celebrations the linesman was felled and referee Megia Dávila decided that the situation was unsafe and suspended the game. It was another blow for a competition which has already been blighted by incidents, and the federation will meet tomorrow to decide if and when the match will be resumed.
A goal late in the first half from Robinho was enough to give Real Madrid a 1-0 win over Betis and ensure the Galacticos a place in the semi-finals. The young striker couldn't have celebrated his 22nd birthday in more style, picking up a pass from Beckham to run past a defender and score with an angled shot to add to their one goal lead from the first leg. Earlier in the first half Madrid had comer close to scoring when Dani cleared a Ramos header off the line and Cassano went close a couple of times, and the Andalusians only reply was an effort by Joaquín which Casillas dealt with comfortably. Serra Ferrer made two attacking changes at the break to try and turn the scoreline around, but other than an effort from Robert his side made little impact, and Cassano and Cicinho could have finished things off had Doblas not been at his best.
Espanyol are also through to the semi-finals after beating Cádiz 2-0 in Montjuic. With a two goal start from the game in the Carranza stadium a week ago, the Catalans were expected to qualify. However they had some problems early on against a side packed with reserves, with De Quintana heading a good chance straight at Gorka, De la Cuesta hitting the bar soon afterwards and Oli going close with two efforts either side of half time. Limia did well to save from a Pandiani header before the interval though, and Jofre latched on to Juanfran's cross to put the result beyond the Andalusians' reach twenty minutes from the end. That took the wind out of their sails, and just three minutes later Jofre added a second from the penalty spot after he himself was brought down from behind in the area.
Matches played on 1st February
Barcelona are out of the Spanish cup after losing to Zaragoza 5-4 on aggregate. Frank Rijkaard opted for a front three of Giuly, Ronaldinho and Messi to turn around the two goal deficit from the first leg, and they got off to a flying start with Messi shooting just wide, Gabi Milito clearing off the line from Ronaldinho and Giuly hitting the bar on the follow up, and Ronaldinho going close with couple of free kicks. Jorquera did well to keep out Ewerthon at the other end though, and shortly before half time the home side were left with ten men when Ronaldinho was sent off by referee Rodríguez Santiago for a late tackle on Cani. However three minutes later Deco sent Giuly away for him to turn the ball in to the area, and Messi got away from Gabi Milito to head the ball home. The hosts only needed one more to go through, and Iniesta hit the outside of the post with a long shot soon after the restart. Rodríguez turned down a penalty appeal by Deco, and soon after Diego Milito fired a shot over the bar, Oscar González picked up a pass from the striker and curled a long shot over the head of Jorquera. Rijkaard threw on Larsson and Van Bommel, and with the game in injury time a shot by the latter was deflected across goal for the Swedish striker to slide the ball in to the net and make it 2-1 on the night. But much to the disgust of the home fans the referee ended the game thirty seconds early, and it is Víctor Muñoz's side who go on to play Real Madrid in the semi finals.
Deportivo will play Espanyol in the other semi-final after they knocked out Valencia in their rescheduled match. The game had been abandoned just before half time a week ago after a linesman was hit by an object thrown from the crowd, and the remaining minutes (which had to be played behind closed doors) almost didn't take place after the visitors tried to persuade the disciplinary committee and then a local judge that they should be awarded the tie. However the judge ruled that the original decision to carry on the game from minute 44 was valid, and the two sides played out a one minute first half and then changed ends. David Villa had cancelled out Sergio's first leg penalty just before the game was suspended, but the Galicians were awarded another hotly disputed penalty when Senel fell under a challenge from Albelda after Butelle could only push out a shot from Munitis. Víctor (who had almost moved to Liverpool a week earlier) converted the spot kick to make it 1-1 on the night, a result which took the Galicians through even though Kluivert and Regueiro went close to pulling one back near the end.