This week domestic cup’s takes center stage in both Italy and Spain with play in the Coppa Italia and Copa del Rey.
Two goals from Samuel Eto’o helped holders Inter MIlan to a 3-2 victory against Genoa and a place in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.
Eto’o’s first half goals put Inter 2-0 up, but Genoa cut Inter lead in half when Houssine Kharja’s scored from the penalty spot. MacDonald Mariga restored Inter’s two-goal lead from a corner. A late goal by Giuseppe Sculli made it a nervy final few minutes for the holders. Inter have no won three successive games since Leonardo took over for Rafa Benitez.
In the other game last night Fabrizio Miccoli scored a penalty to give Palermo a 1-0 victory over Chievo Verona.
Coppa del Rey
After showing off his FIFA Ballon d’Or award before the game, Lionel Messi was the star once again for Barcelona as they beat Real Betis 5-0 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final tie.
It took Barca 44 minutes to break down the Betis defence, but it was a goal worth waiting for. Andrés Iniesta teased the Betis defence before slipping a pass to Messi which the Argentina striker nonchalantly flicked over Casto.
Messi rolled in another at the second attempt on 62 minutes then burst through to complete his hat-trick (73). Pedro Rodríguez made it four and Seydou Keita nodded in number five.
In the other game, holders Sevilla came from 3-1 down to draw with at Villarreal. Villarreal scored two goals inside the first 30 minutes through a volley from Cani and a deflected Giuseppe Rossi shot before Álvaro Negredo pulled one back for Sevilla. Marco Ruben nodded Villarreal 3-1 up only for Negredo to head in on the hour and allow Alexis (88) to sweep in the equaliser.