Spanish Cup Shocker: Betis Ousted, Madrid Giants Cruise into Last 16


The Spanish Cup threw up a major upset and familiar progression in its fourth round, with Real Betis suffering a surprise elimination while Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid waltzed into the last 16.

Betis, the 2022 cup champions, were stunned 1-0 by LaLiga’s basement dwellers Alaves. Carlos Benavidez’s 57th-minute strike ended Betis’ impressive cup run that stretched back to a 2019 defeat in regular time. This was a bitter pill for Manuel Pellegrini’s men, who are flying high in the league but failed to find their rhythm against a dogged Alaves side.

Meanwhile, the Madrid giants enjoyed comfortable victories to book their next-round berths. Real Madrid faced a valiant challenge from fourth-division Arandina, who refused to crumble under the weight of facing the defending champions. However, the Los Blancos’ class eventually shone through. Joselu converted a penalty in the 54th minute, followed by Brahim Diaz adding another a minute later, and substitute Lucas Vazquez wrapped it up with a third in the 71st minute.

Atletico Madrid’s progression was just as routine, but it took a second-half burst from Memphis Depay and Angel Correa to break down stubborn third-tier side Lugo. Correa opened the scoring early, but Lugo roared back through Leandro Antonetti just before halftime. Depay stole the show in the second half, netting twice in quick succession to seal a 3-1 win for Diego Simeone’s team.

The draw for the last 16 will be held on Monday, with the remaining teams vying for a chance to lift the prestigious trophy in April. While Real Madrid and Atletico look like strong contenders, the tournament’s unpredictability has been showcased once again, leaving the door open for other contenders to make their mark.

Betis’ unexpected exit serves as a cautionary tale for even the biggest clubs, while the comfortable victories of Real Madrid and Atletico underline their desire to add another cup title to their already impressive trophy cabinets.

With plenty of exciting matchups in the next round, the Spanish Cup’s journey towards the final whistle promises to be full of surprises and thrilling encounters.

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