Bradford City AFC are the story of the night after making light of their League Two status to beat Aston Villa FC 3-1 in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final at Valley Parade. The fourth-tier team, who had knocked out Arsenal FC on penalties in the quarter-finals and before that Wigan Athletic FC, claimed a third successive Premier League scalp after taking a first-half lead through Nakhi Wells. Rory McArdle then gave Phil Parkinson's side a two-goal advantage which Andreas Weimann briefly reduced for the top-flight strugglers, only for Carl McHugh to notch an 88th-minute third. The clubs meet again at Villa Park on 22 January.
Málaga CF reached the Spanish Cup quarter-finals but again left it late to overcome third-division SD Eibar. Although the 4-1 final score completed a 5-2 aggregate triumph for the Andalusians in this fifth-round tie, Manuel Pellegrini's men actually trailed until the 74th minute to Rubén Arroyo's first-half goal. Málaga, who had needed a 93rd-minute equaliser away to the Segunda División B side to draw the first leg in December, eventually rallied with Diego Buonanotte (2), Seba and Francisco Portillo all scoring in the last 16 minutes.
Valencia CF also made it into the last eight of the Copa del Rey, although Ernesto Valverde's outfit had done the hard work in winning 2-0 at CA Osasuna before Christmas. Today's sequel at the Mestalla finished 2-1 to the home team, with Roberto Soldado's 93rd-minute goal ending Osasuna's resistance on the night. Joseba Llorente had earlier equalised for Osasuna – the Liga's bottom club – shortly after Tino Costa's 33rd-minute opener.
Second in Serie A, S.S. Lazio transferred their impressive league form onto the Coppa Italia stage as Vladimir Petković's charges brushed aside Calcio Catania in their quarter-final at the Stadio Olimpico. Ştefan Radu made the first-half breakthrough for the Biancocelesti, who subsequently confirmed their progress to the semi-finals when Hernanes struck twice after the interval, the Brazilian's second goal coming at the death. Juventus host AC Milan in tomorrow's last-eight instalment.
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