AC Milan put their recent league woes and coaching change behind them as, under caretaker Mauro Tassotti, they cruised to a 3-1 round of 16 victory against Spezia Calcio. Robinho and Giampaolo Pazzini scored in a three-minute first-half period at San Siro and not long after the interval Keisuke Honda claimed his maiden goal since his switch from PFC CSKA Moskva. Nicola Ferrari notched a late consolation. Milan now take on Udinese Calcio in the quarter-finals next Wednesday.
With Spezia's exit, AC Siena are the only second-tier side in the last eight after a 4-1 win at Serie A's bottom team Calcio Catania, who had scored first, earned them a tie with ACF Fiorentina. SSC Napoli earned a date with holders SS Lazio after coming from behind to beat ten-man Atalanta BC 3-1 in Naples and complete the quarter-final lineup.
AS Roma v Juventus: 21 January
AC Milan v Udinese Calcio: 22 January
AC Siena v ACF Fiorentina: 28 January
SSC Napoli v SS Lazio (holders): 29 January
Semi-final draw (2 legs, 5 & 12 February)
Milan/Udinese v Siena/Fiorentina
Roma/Juventus v Napoli/Lazio
Final: Rome, 3 May
Copa del Rey
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his FIFA Ballon d'Or success on Monday by setting Real Madrid CF on their way to the quarter-finals. Already 2-0 up going into the second leg at CA Osasuna, Madrid effectively settled the tie with an away goal when Ronaldo's 22nd-minute free-kick eluded the grasp of Andrés Fernández. Ángel Di María added a second in the 56th minute to make it 4-0 on aggregate but Fábio Coentrão was sent off late on and Álvaro Morata departed with a head injury after all substitutes were used, leaving Madrid to finish with nine men.
Madrid will now meet RCD Espanyol over the next fortnight. Espanyol began their home leg 1-0 down to AD Alcorcón – currently in the Segunda División relegation zone – and conceded again early on. However, the Barcelona outfit scraped through with a 4-2 win on the night. Víctor Álvarez and Pizzi scored in the last six minutes for a 4-3 aggregate success, not long after it seemed Javito had put the tie beyond Espanyol.
Athletic Club started off 1-0 down at home to Real Betis Balompié but Mikel Rico Moreno registered midway through either half to put the Bilbao club through 2-1 on aggregate to a quarter-final against holders Club Atlético de Madrid. The winners of that encounter will play Madrid or Espanyol in the semis.
David Barral gave Levante UD a 1-0 home victory over Rayo Vallecano de Madrid in the second leg of a contest that had resumed scoreless. Levante are now likely to face FC Barcelona, who take a 4-0 lead to Getafe CF tomorrow.
French League Cup
Second division ES Troyes AC, who commenced their campaign in the preliminary round in August, are into the semi-finals for the first time after defeating Évian Thonon Gaillard FC 3-1. Benjamin Nivet and Ghislain Gimbert gave the hosts a two-goal half-time advantage and although Clarck Nsikulu pulled one back with 21 minutes to go, 19-year-old substitute Jimmy Cabot removed all doubt late on.
Yoann Gourcuff and Bafétimbi Gomis ensured Olympique Lyonnais beat Olympique de Marseille 2-1 at Stade de Gerland to earn a home tie witH Troyes despite André-Pierre Gignac reducing the deficit with a last-minute penalty. FC Nantes pipped OGC Nice 4-3 thanks to Serge Gakpé's 87th-minute clincher not long after Dario Cvitanich had equalised for the visitors. They now play Paris Saint-Germain.
Semi-final draw (4/5 February)
FC Nantes v Paris Saint-Germain
Olympique Lyonnais v ES Troyes AC
Manchester City FC completed the fourth-round lineup after winning their replay against Blackburn Rovers FC 5-0 in Manchester. Despite City's free-scoring form at home, it took until first-half added time for Álvaro Negredo to head last year's beaten finalists in front and he added another just after the break before Edin Džeko made it three from a tight angle.
With 18 minutes to go Sergio Agüero came off the bench after a month out injured and scored with virtually his first touch, then Džeko notched the club's 99th goal of the season. City are at home to another second-tier side, Watford FC, in the last 32 on 25 January.
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