News From Spain: Copa del Rey: La Liga duo progress to quarterfinals after narrow wins

Tuesday’s Copa del Rey ties saw the first two last 16 matches taking place, with four sides bidding to enter the final eight of the competition. High flying Real Sociedad hosted Mallorca in the early kick-off, with struggling Sevilla travelling to face LaLiga2 side Alaves.

Real Sociedad 1-0 Mallorca

Tuesday’s early match saw Real Sociedad host Mallorca in an all-La Liga affair. Mikel Oyarzabal started his first match in almost ten months for La Real, who took the lead after only five minutes. Martin Zubimendi’s exquisite pass was finished by Robert Navarro, who netted his fourth goal of the competition.

🎱 Pase de billar. Qué asistencia de Zubimendi.

Robert Navarro adelantó a la @RealSociedad. #LaCopaMola pic.twitter.com/3UEOUJtVaW

— Fútbol en Movistar Plus+ (@MovistarFutbol) January 17, 2023

Oyarzabal had a goal ruled out by VAR for offside, in a match of very few clear cut chances. Despite some nervy spells, La Real became the first team to progress into the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Alaves 0-1 Sevilla

Sevilla’s trip to the Basque Country had shock written all over it. Jorge Sampaoli’s side have really struggled domestically this season, and sit second bottom in La Liga. However, they avoided this banana skin against team that sit fifth in the second tier, as they secured a narrow win.

With the first half finishing goalless, the Andalusian club struck early in the second. Jesus Navas’ ball into the box was headed home by veteran midfielder Ivan Rakitic, which was the Croatian’s second goal of the season.

La edad es sólo un número…

⚪ @JNavas ✖️ @ivanrakitic 🔴

🆚 @Alaves – @SevillaFC | 0-1 | 70′

📺 @MovistarFutbol#CopaDelRey | #LaCopaMolapic.twitter.com/zkuwiBUQYY

— RFEF (@rfef) January 17, 2023

Like La Real, Sevilla had to survive nervy moments. Salva Sevilla had a huge change for the hosts in the dying stages, but he fired his shot wide.

The result is a big one for Sampaoli, who is under pressure from club hierarchy, despite having been in the job for less than four months.

Image via Real Sociedad