Barca, Atletico and Betis in Copa del Rey quarters

Madrid, Jan 11 (IANS) Barcelona had few problems in booking their place in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey football.

Following a 2-0 first leg win away to Cordoba, the reigning Cup holders were always favourites to progress to the next round. And in front of their own fans, they didn't disappoint, Xinhua reports.

Although Lionel Messi was on the bench and coach Tito Vilanova in New York seeking a second opinion on his cancer treatment, the side led by Vilanova's assistant Jordi Roura made short work of Cordoba Thursday night.

David Villa scored two goals to lend weight to his argument for more minutes.

Midfielder Thiago Alcantara also scored twice, and Alexis Sanchez will have done his confidence no harm with a goal that gave Barca a 7-0 aggregate win against the second division side.

The negative news was an apparent muscle injury suffered by Villa that forced him out of the game with 13 minutes remaining.

Betis also qualified with Ruben Castro's 85th minute goal giving them a 1-0 win on the night and a 2-1 aggregate triumph against second division Las Palmas.

The underdogs made Betis battle every inch of the way for their place in the last eight.

Earlier, Atletico Madrid made good use of their 3-0 first leg advantage in their return leg in Getafe following a dull 0-0 draw.

The result was never in doubt after the home side were reduced to 10 men in the first half when Rafa horribly challenged on Atletico striker Radamel Falcao. Both sides seemed content to save their strength for this weekend's league games.

Wednesday night saw Real Madrid, Zaragoza and Sevilla qualify, while Malaga and Valencia qualified Tuesday.

The full quarter-final draw is Malaga vs Barcelona, Real Madrid vs Valencia, Sevilla vs Zaragoza and Atletico Madrid vs Betis.

The first leg of the ties will be played next week, with the second leg a week later.


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