Fri, Dec 01, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Barca, Atletico and Sevilla advance


Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla on Wednesday eased into the last 16 of the Copa del Rey, but Basque duo Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad were eliminated in stunning fashion by third-tier opposition in SD Formentera and Lleida Esportiu respectively.

Already leading 3-0 from the first leg, Barca boss Ernesto Valverde made 10 changes from Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash at Valencia, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez among those to drop out for a 5-0 rout of Real Murcia.

Paco Alcacer kept up his fine strike rate this season with his fourth goal of the campaign from just more than 400 minutes on the field when he headed home Aleix Vidal’s pass on 16 minutes.

Barca had to wait until 10 minutes into the second half to double their advantage when captain for the night Gerard Pique tapped into an empty net from another Vidal cross.

Vidal then completed a fine team move himself when he headed home Nelson Semedo’s cross.

Denis Suarez and Jose Manuel Arnaiz rounded off the scoring.

Fernando Torres scored his first two goals of the season as Atletico saw off Elche’s first-leg resistance to progress 4-1 on aggregate with a 3-0 win at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Jose Maria Gimenez gave a strong Atletico side the lead with a thunderous downward header on the half-hour mark.

Two minutes later, Torres swept home from a narrow angle for his first goal at Atletico’s new home and then doubled his account by firing in off the bar 22 minutes from time.

Wissam Ben Yedder scored twice in the opening six minutes as Sevilla cruised past Cartagena 4-0 to seal a 7-0 aggregate win in the absence of coach Eduardo Berizzo.

Berizzo underwent surgery on a cancerous tumor of the prostate on Tuesday, with his assistant Ernesto Marcucci taking charge while he recovers.

Paulo Henrique Ganso and Joaquin Correa were also on target for the five-time winners.

The stories of the night came in the Basque country, where both Formentera and Lleida struck late to secure huge upsets.

Formentera’s population of 12,000 would fit four times over into Athletic’s San Mames, but the visitors from a tiny island off Ibiza stunned Bilbao thanks to a 97th-minute winner from Alvaro Muniz to advance 2-1 on aggregate.

Athletic’s rivals Sociedad suffered a similar fate as they blew a 2-0 lead on the night and 3-0 advantage on aggregate to lose on away goals to Lleida.

Diego Llorente and Juanmi put the La Liga side in a commanding position before halftime, but second-half goals by Aitor Nunez, Manu Molina and Bojan Radulovic handed Lleida a famous win.

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