Morbo Minute–Copa del Rey Round of 16 review

In my continued effort to get stuck into the La Liga, I analyzed the draw and made predictions from the Round of 16 to the Final.

THURSDAY

The final fixtures of the round of 16 saw Copa del Rey powers Athletic Bilbao and FC Barcelona progress.

After a scoreless draw atAlbacete, Bilbao put the visitors under immediate pressure.  Munain ripped apart the Albacete rearguard with a delightful pass and Susaeta finished with precision.  Los Leones kept up the pressure but could not find the second goal.  After halftime, their dominance paid off as Albacete defended several chances before Ander blasted in from just outside the box.  The breathing space had been created and Bilbao ran out 4-0 winners.  1/1 on predictions.

I was busy watching the United debacle while FCB thrashed Osasuna 4-0 at the Nou Camp in the first leg.  The visitors had been in good form recently but a modified Blaugrana attacked crushed them.  In the second game, Pep started a team filled with youth—Thiago, Fontas,Cuenca, Sergi and Montoya—and Masch got a run as well.  I wasn’t able to watch the match (work, FCB 4-0 up, picking up my son) but followed the game on twitter.  I was saddened to read about Fontas’ injury early in the match.  Looks like his season might be over.  Osasuna took the early lead but the Blaugrana eventually recovered to win 2-1, which sets up two Clasicos in the next two weeks.  2/2 for predictions on the day.

After a slow start, I actually picked six of the eight ties correctly.  Very proud of myself and much better than my March Madness predictions.  Here are the quarterfinal ties:

Athletic Bilbaov Real Mallorca

Mirandes v Espanyol

Winners play each in the semis

Valencia v Levante

Real Madrid v FC Barcelona

Winners play each in the semis

WEDNESDAY

The return legs on Wednesday were full of goals and drama.

Levante came back home down 2-1 but turned it around as Bakero got them off and running and Los Granotes won 4-0 against Alcorcon to progress to the next round.  1/1 on predictions.

Espanyol against Cordoba had to be tie of the round.  I missed an amazing first leg—tons of chances, a Penalty/Red Card for the Espanyol GK/a GK sub/then a GK PK save sequence—which Cordoba eventually won 2-1.  But the second leg was EPIC!!  I kept tabs on the score, so when Espanyol went up early 2-0, I felt pretty confident in their progress.  Even at 3-1, I wasn’t too worried, but then Cordoba scored to make 3-2, which meant they would go through on away goals, so I found a feed and started watching.  Espanyol pressed and pressed and finally got the vital goal just minutes from time to win 4-2 on the night and 5-4 on aggregate.  Amazing noise at the Cornella-El Prat.  2/2!

The final match of the day saw Valencia travel to Sevilla up 1-0 courtesy of a poor clearance from a corner that led to the only goal–a well placed shot from Jonas.  Los Rojiblancos were all over the visitors but couldn’t score as Diego Lopez and Co. kept them out.  A couple of chances from Valencia gave Sevilla pause but they kept searching for the goal.  In the second half, Soldado split the center backs, received a great pass and then coolly finished to put Valencia firmly in control.  At this point I turned it off figured that Los Che would hold on.  Then I checked the score.  Looks like Sevilla scored twice but it wasn’t enough as Valencia progressed to play Levante.  3/3!!

So after two days, of 4 out of 6. Yeah me!!

TUESDAY

The return legs showed that I know nothing, as if you needed proof of that already.  The first game on Tuesday was Mallorca hosting Real Sociedad, with the visitors up 2-0.  In setting up my computer for the last two games of the day, I checked on the score and was confronted with a 6-1 scoreline toMallorca.  I have not read reports and seen highlights but that is quite a battering.  0/1.

Disappointed, I checked in on Racing Santander v Mirandes.  The lower division side had a 2-0 lead from the first leg but by halftime Racing had cut that in half.  I watched most of the second half, with the hosts putting pressure but never seeming to put the visitors in danger.  Then Bernando got sent off for Racing and that was that.  A penalty for Mirandes put the tie beyond reach.  0/2

The last game of the game of the day was Real Madrid travelling to Malaga.  While watching City knockout Liverpool last week, tweets came across my timeline reading Real Madrid 0 Malaga 1 and Real Madrid 0 Malaga 2.  What the what?!?  So I switched over for the second half and was greeted with a triple substitution: Ozil, Benzema and Khedira on; Callejon, Arbeloa and Kaka off.  I watched for about 20 minutes as the Evil Empire absolutely battered Pellegrini’s men.  Khedira finally scored and then an absolutely shambolic backpass let Higuain in to equalize.  I had to leave but later saw that they added a third.  In theory, Malaga could have won 1-0 to advance, but their moment had passed and they were toast. Real came out in the second leg and put this tie to bed early with a strong lineup and then a comedic goal of Taibi for Manchester United proportions. Malaga will now have to focus on the fourth spot in the league, which seems to be wide open if teams would stop tripping over themselves. 1/3  On the board!!


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