Copa del Rey Round-Up: Goals Galore As Champions Sevilla Stage Comeback While Atletico Madrid Edge Espanyol

There were plenty of goals in Wednesday's round of eventful action in the Copa...
Copa del Rey - Last 16, First Leg


WEDNESDAY, December 22

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Espanyol

Neither side were able to impose themselves in the early stages of the game on a rain-soaked pitch at the Vicente Calderon as both sets of players battled for possession in midfield.

Sergio Aguero had the best chance to break the deadlock on 14 minutes when he was put through on goal by Jose Antonio Reyes, but dragged his shot wide across goal. Javi Marquez then tested David de Gea with a long range effort, which the Atletico shot-stopper did well to palm away.

The stalemate was finally broken on the half-hour mark when Atleti captain Simao smashed home a penalty into the top corner after Reyes' shot came off the arm of Jordi Amat.

Espanyol were presented with an opportunity to level just five minutes later but Pablo Osvaldo's low shot was kept out by a brilliant De Gea kick-save.

Reyes then turned villain five minutes before the interval when he was sent off with a straight red card after lashing out on Jesus Datolo.

With a man advantage, the Blanc-i-Blau looked the more adventurous side in the second half. De Gea came to Atleti's rescue again on the hour mark when he pulled off a reflex save to deny Osvaldo's header from a corner.

Parity was restored in terms of personnel at least, when Victor Ruiz was dismissed for Espanyol after a rash challenge on Aguero. 'El Kun' and Osvaldo had further chances for both sides but neither managed to convert.



Sevilla 5-3 Malaga

The all-Andalucian clash produced a thrilling goal-glut with five goals scored in the first half. Alfaro put Sevilla ahead after just 11 minutes but Jose Rondon equalised for the visitors in the 20th minute. Rondon struck again six minutes later to put Manuel Pellegrini's side in front, but the lead lasted only six minutes before the hosts restored parity through Alvaro Negredo. But four minutes before the break, Malaga went ahead again 3-2 after Quincy Owusu-Abeyie finished off a pass from Rondon.

The impressive Rondon missed a chance to bag a hat-trick in the 57th minute, and Malaga would pay the price ten minutes later when Romaric made it 3-3. But in a blink of an eye, the defending Copa champions raced into a two-goal lead. Romaric found the net again on 80 minutes when he headed in a cross from Martin Caceres and two minutes after that, Diego Capel made it 5-3 after a calamitous defensive mix-up in the Malaga goal.

Real Betis 1-2 Getafe

The only other non-La Liga side still in the Copa del Rey Real Betis crashed to a home defeat to in-form Getafe. After a quiet start with chances few and far between, El Geta took the lead when Miku pounced on a loose ball after Betis failed to clear a corner.

It was two to Geta seven minutes later when Pedro Rios rifled in a shot from the edge of the box. Los Verdiblancos managed to pull one back three minutes from time through a Jorge Molina penalty in what could be a crucial goal ahead of the second leg.

Almeria 4-3 Mallorca

It was also raining goals in the other side of Andalucia in a see-saw encounter between Almeria and Mallorca.

The hosts went ahead as early as the sixth minute through Jose Ulloa, but the Balearic Islanders drew levelled through Jonathan De Guzman. Ulloa restored Almeria's lead just six minutes later, but Victor Casadesus made it 2-2 a minute before the half-time whistle.

Kalu Uche gave the Rojiblancos the lead for the third time, before Ulloa completed his hat-trick to give his side what he thought was a significant 4-2 cushion. But two minutes from time, Pierre Webo trimmed the gap down to just a solitary goal when he pounced on a mistake from Carlos Garcia.

With just a one-goal deficit and three away goals, Mallorca will fancy their chances in the return leg at home.

Real Madrid - Levante: Kick-off 2100 CET

TUESDAY, December 21

Barcelona 0-0 Athletic Bilbao: Click here for match report

Valencia 0-0 Villarreal: Click here for match report

Cordoba 1-1 Deportivo