Footie Forever
Friday, January 27, 2006

Copa del Rey - January 25/26

Some interesting action around Spain for this week's quarterfinal tie-ups in the Copa del Rey (King's Cup). Let's take a look at each of the games:

RM 1 - Betis 0 (RM continues) As expected, Madrid were able to get by Betis without too much trouble, truth be told. The scoreline looked close, but once Robinho slotted home (see video below), the outcome was never really in doubt. The biggest surprise of the match was that Madrid failed to put in another three or four.

Espanyol 2 - Cádiz 0 (Espanyol continues) Espanyol, for all its recent struggles in la Liga (most recently being bombarded by Getafe 5-0), have looked very comfortable in this competition. Having brought in a two goal advantage from the first leg, played in Cádiz, Espanyol put the tie away in the first half and finished with an identical score.

Valencia 1 - Deportivo 0 (suspended in 44th minute) Here was the bad side of soccer (or any sport, for that matter) - some idiot(s?) in the stands threw coins towards the lineman with one of them striking the poor guy straight in the face, near the eye. He is OK, but the match was suspended just before the half with Valencia having just levelled the tie. This is a big blow to Valencia, for the rest of the match will be played in an empty stadium instead of a rocking Mestalla. Just goes to show how stupid people can be.

Zaragoza 4 - Barcelona 2 (1st leg) And here we have the cracker match of the round! The team that has so often been Barcelona's bestia negra weathered an early surge of pressure then started to tighten the screws in the middle of the first half, serving notice through Ewerthon and Milito, before blitzing the Barcelona defense with three strikes in the space of five minutes. Brilliant stuff that made my comments regarding Zaragoza earlier this month look a little more on the mark. Muñoz has the team defending en masse in the center of the pitch, with their lines very compactly placed, and has quite noticeably worked on their quick-strike counter attacks that utilize the talents of the two aforementioned strikers (E and M). Those two provided the three goals before Barcelona pulled one back after two consecutive missed offside non-calls. Still, 3-1 at the break looked quite secure. Lightning struck again, however, as the referee made a shocker of a penalty call after Messi had fallen in the box. I hate to harp on here, but that call was a disgrace - horrible decision! Ronaldinho tucked in to further tighten the score, but some small measure of justice was served when Marquez made an obvious hand ball in the box to set up Milito's penalty kick goal which rounded out the scoring. As incredible as it seems, Barcelona's match streak ended in a blowout that could and should have been four-nil.
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The Table

1 Barcelona 55
2 Valencia 49
3 Real Madrid 48
4 Osasuna 46
5 Sevilla 41
6 Celta 39
7 Villarreal 38
8 Deportivo 37
9 Atlético 35
10 Zaragoza 33
11 Getafe 30
12 Racing 27
13 Real Sociedad 25
14 Espanyol 24
15 Athletic 22
16 Alavés 22
17 Cádiz 22
18 Mallorca 22
19 Betis 22
20 Málaga 20


Etoo 18
Villa 15
Ronaldinho 12
Diego Milito 12
Ronaldo 10
Tristán 9
Riquelme 9
Güiza 8

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