Friday, 29 January 2016

Valencia Reach Copa Last Four

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Valencia reached the Copa del Rey semi-finals after a Rodrigo Moreno goal earned a morale-boosting 1-0 second-leg victory at Las Palmas and a 2-1 aggregate win.

The Mestalla side have yet to win in seven La Liga matches under their coach, Gary Neville, and lie 11th in the table but this victory will ease some of the tension surrounding the club.

The game was always in the balance but Valencia worked hard defensively and had the better chances to score with Moreno slotting home after 20 minutes.

“Our fans deserved to enjoy a moment like this,” Neville said. “They have been patient with me and with the team in these past six weeks.”

“It has not been easy for us,” Rodrigo said. “It was important to advance to the next round, it gives us more confidence. We played well in the first leg but didn’t get a good result. Today we didn’t play brilliantly but we advanced, and that’s what was important.”

Sevilla eased into the last four after a Vicente Iborra penalty helped them to a 3-0 second-leg win over second-tier Mirandes and a 5-0 aggregate success.

Sevilla were firmly in charge from the start and went ahead after Sebastián Cristóforo was upended by Ion Vélez and Iborra sent the goalkeeper Raúl Fernández the wrong way with his spot kick after nine minutes.

Mirandes caused little danger and Sevilla could have added to their lead but Yevhen Konoplyanka fired over and Vitolo had a shot beaten away by Fernández in the first half.

They sealed the win after the break when the 20-year-old Juan Muñoz finished clinically after 70 minutes from a Vitolo pass and Coke headed home the third goal in stoppage time.

Sevilla have clicked into gear after a slow start to the season and have suffered only one defeat in 16 games in all competitions, moving them up to seventh in La Liga.

Barcelona reached the semi-finals on Wednesday after knocking out Athletic Bilbao. Real Madrid were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player in an earlier round.

Celta Vigo completed the semi-final lineup with a 3-2 aggregate success against Atlético Madrid on Wednesday.

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