Spain instead plays their cup ties over two legs, giving the big teams an advantage, but also providing the small clubs with the addd cash from two ties. Considering the financial situation that football is in in Spain, that is not an insignificant thing.
At third tier Olimpic Xativa, temporary stands were added to increase the grounds capacity to 6,000 for the visit of Real Madrid. For a town of just under 29,000, this is the biggest thing to happen in Xativa for a long long time.
Sant Andreu welcomed defending champions Atletico Madrid and tickets for the two side stands sold out immediately afer the draw was announced, Algeciras, near Gibraltar at the very south of Spain, wore special shirts, designed for the occasion when they face Real Sociedad in front of a crowd of 8,000.
So how did the minnows do? None of the La Liga teams lost to their lower level opponents. The closest they came was at Olimpic Xativa where the third tier side held Real Madrid to a 0-0 draw.
With Ronaldo suspended following his red card in last year’s final defeat to Atletico Madrid and Bale left in the Spanish capital due to the flu, Real boss Carlo Ancelotti handed starts to young forwards Alvaro Morata and Jese Rodriguez.
However, the Spain U-21 duo failed to impress as Real failed to find the net for just the second time this season.
Despite the result, Madrid will though still be heavy favourites to progress when the two sides meet again for the second-leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on 18 December.
Atletico Madrid began their defence of the title with a comfortable 4-0 win away to Sant Andreu. Goals from Raul Garcia and David Villa either side of an Arda Turan double mean that Atletico can already start planning for the last 16 in January.
On Saturday, a historic result looked on the cards when Barcelona went behind at third division Cartagena but Gerardo Martino’s men roused themselves to earn a 4-1 advantage ahead of the 17 December second leg. Fernando put the hosts into a surprise lead on 16 minutes but parity was restored by Pedro Rodríguez before Cesc Fàbregas struck again ahead of the interval. Pedro added a third in the 74th minute with Jean Marie Dongou (88) quashing any home hopes of a memorable result.
Round of 16 (winners from)
1 Valladolid or Rayo Vallecano – Recreativo de Huelva or Levante
2 Alcorcón or Granada – Real Jaén or Espanyol
3 Las Palmas or Almería – Racing de Santander or Sevilla
4 Olímpic de Xàtiva or Real Madrid – Málaga or Osasuna
5 CF Cartagena or FC Barcelona – Girona or Getafe
6 Gimnástic de Tarragona or Valencia – UE Sant Andreu or Atlético de Madrid
7 Club Lleida or Real Betis – Celta or Athletic
8 Algeciras CF or Real Sociedad – Villarreal or Elche
A Winner of match 2 – Winner of match 4
B Winner of match 1 – Winner of match 5
C Winner of match 8 – Winner of match 3
D Winner of match 6 – Winner of match 7
Winner of quarter-final B – Winner of quarter-final C
Winner of quarter-final A – Winner of quarter-final D