x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

European round-up: Malaga survive Copa del Rey scare against minnows Cacereno

An understrength Real Madrid side coast past Alcoyano, while Lazio use their 3-0 win over Udinese to stage a protest against racism.

Lazio player protest against racism during their win over Udinese.
Lazio player protest against racism during their win over Udinese.

SPAIN

Real Madrid eased through to the fifth round of the Copa del Rey after they completed a 7-1 aggregate victory over Serie B side Alcoyano at the Bernabeu.

Their progression was never in doubt after a 4-1 first-leg triumph and strikes from Angel Di Maria and a late brace from Jose Callejon saw them to a 3-0 win on the night.

With the tie over, boss Jose Mourinho rested a host of big names with only Luka Modric, Mesut Ozil and Callejon the only regulars who started the contest.

Alcoyano, who had beat Tenerife to set up the tie, played the final 18 minutes with 10 men after Javi Selvas saw red after receiving two yellow cards.

Tiny Cacereno from the Spanish third tier came within centimetres of upsetting Malaga, winning 1-0 at the Rosaleda but going out on the away goals rule 4-4 on aggregate.

Qatar-owned Malaga, who lie fourth in La Liga and who have cruised into the last-16 of the Champions League, were clinging on desperately at the end of their last-32 second leg with luck on their side.

Winger Chapi pounced on a loose ball after a free kick to put the visitors ahead in the 37th minute and they sensed an upset towards the end of the second half.

Malaga defender Martin Demichelis diverted a goal-bound shot just wide of his own post and goalkeeper Carlos Kameni pushed another shot into the side-netting in the closing stages.

When the visitors did finally bundle in a second at a corner, it was ruled out for offside and Manuel Pellegrini's side hung on to progress.

Real Betis and Osasuna all moved in to the last 16, while second division Cordoba and Las Palmas claimed the scalps of top-flight side to progress.

Cordoba upset Real Sociedad taking advantage of some poor defending to draw 2-2 at Anoeta and make the next round 4-2 on aggregate.

The Andalusian club's prize is likely to be a meeting with holders Barcelona, who host Alaves on Wednesday with a 3-0 first-leg advantage.

Las Palmas ousted Rayo 1-0 on aggregate grabbing a goalless draw in Vallecas after the home side had their goalkeeper sent off for the second time in the tie.

Real Betis, spurred on by their surprise 1-0 defeat of league champions Real on the weekend, overturned a first leg deficit against Valladolid to progress 3-1 on aggregate.

Osasuna joined them with a 2-0 home win over recently-relegated Sporting Gijón, giving them a 2-1 triumph.

 

ITALY

Lazio's Alvaro Gonzalez, Mirolsav Klose and Hernanes secured a 3-0 win over Udinese in Serie A at the Stadio Olimpico - and used the victory to express their opposition to racism.

Lazio took to the field wearing a "No Racism" logo on their shirts in the aftermath of an attack on Tottenham Hotspur supporters on the eve of last week's Europa League tie and anti-Semitic chanting heard during the game with the London team.

Their comfortable victory over mid-table Udinese took fifth-placed Lazio to 26 points from 14 games, six behind leaders Juventus and within two of Inter Milan in fourth spot.

The home side started brightly, earning a penalty in the 11th minute when Udinese's Willians handled as he got in the way of Stefan Radu's back-heel from a corner.

However, Antonio Candreva's spot kick was weak, allowing visiting goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic to save.

Five minutes later Lazio did take the lead when the lively Stefano Mauri's nicely-weighted pass found Gonzalez, who slotted the ball past Udinese's Serbian keeper.

With playmaker Candreva, on loan from Udinese, working well in a wider role and Mauri and Ederson controlling central midfield, Lazio were in control for long stretches of the game.

It was therefore no great surprise when they scored a second, thanks to another Mauri assist when he found Klose, who beat the offside trap before coolly side-footing home.

The victory was secured shortly just before the hour when Brazilian Hernanes, a halftime substitute for Ederson, clipped a free kick, awarded for a clumsy Andrea Coda challenge on Klose, over the wall and into the net from the edge of the box.

Meanwhile Verona pulled off a shock in the fourth round of the Coppa Italia after they beat Serie A side Palermo 2-1 at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.

Verona are riding high in third place in Serie B and took that form into the cup tie.

The home side made the ideal start as Luigi Giorgi gave Palermo a seventh-minute lead, but two minutes later Verona levelled through Andrea Cocco before Daniele Cacia sealed the win after 73 minutes.

 

FRANCE

St Etienne reached the Coupe de la Ligue semi-finals by beating Paris St Germain 5-3 on penalties.

There were no goals in the 90 minutes, with PSG's Clement Chantome clearing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's header off the line while ASSE keeper Stephane Ruffier won his running battle with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The stalemate continued throughout extra time after Ruffier made an excellent late save from Sylvain Armand.

The home keeper saved from Thiago Silva in the shoot-out, leaving Aubameyang to clinch St Etienne's second shoot-out victory in this season's competition, after they overcame Lorient in the same fashion in round three.

 

SCOTLAND

Inverness climbed up to second place in the Scottish Premier League with a 3-2 win at Aberdeen.

Billy McKay's second goal of the game eight minutes from the end ensured Caley recovered from falling behind to jump ahead of their rivals.

McKay initially fired the visitors ahead on 38 minutes but Josh Megennis (45, 50) twice responded either side of the break to have the Dons on course to displace champions Celtic at the top of the table.

But those hopes were dashed as Gary Warren levelled on 58 minutes before McKay snatched the win.

Motherwell recorded their third successive away victory with a 2-1 over Dundee United at Tannadice.

Michael Higdon capitalised on hesitancy among the home defence to fire the visitors ahead after seven minutes.

A wonderful 20-yard strike from Chris Humphrey doubled the Fir Park side's advantage three minutes later.

Jon Daly netted his fifth goal of the season to reduce the deficit before half-time but Well held on.

Relegation rivals Ross County and St Mirren played out a goalless draw in Dingwall.

 

GERMANY

Bayern Munich's hopes of regaining the Bundesliga title have been boosted as all three sides immediately behind them in the table failed to win.

Bayern travel to Freiburg tonight knowing a win will extend their lead at the top to 11 points after neither Borussia Dortmund, Schalke or Eintracht Frankfurt could take advantage of their night off.

Second-placed Dortmund looked to be heading for victory at home to Fortuna Düsseldorf after Poland midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski put them ahead in the 43rd minute.

But Jurgen Klopp's men were denied the points when Stefan Reisinger struck with 12 minutes to go to give the visitors a 1-1 draw, despite the late sending-off of Ivan Paurevic.

Schalke missed the chance to jump to second as they made it three Bundesliga games without a win by slipping to a 3-1 defeat at Hamburg.

Maximilian Beistar put the hosts ahead in the 52nd minute and Artjoms Rudnevs added a second before Klaas-Jan Huntelaar gave Schalke hope with 10 minutes to go. A Milian Badelj penalty completed Hamburg's win in injury time.

Frankfurt have now won just one of their last five Bundesliga matches after falling 3-1 at home to Mainz, who ended a run of two straight losses.

Andreas Ivanschitz, Shawn Parker and Nikolce Noveski sent Mainz on the way to victory before an own goal by Adam Szalai. Mainz also had Julian Baumgartlinger sent off two minutes from time.

Hannover jumped to sixth in the table after rebounding from Saturday's 5-0 thrashing at Bayern with a comfortable 2-0 win over struggling Greuther Fürth.

Mame Biram Diouf put the home side in front with just five minutes on the clock and Mario Eggimann added the second on 69 minutes after a neat assist from Jan Schlaudraff.

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