Cagliari eliminate Lazio, Atlanta stun Juventus
Rome, January 14:
Last-placed Serie A side Atalanta eliminated league leader Juventus and Cagliari knocked out defending champion Lazio in the Italian Cup. Atalanta held 10-man Juventus to a 3-3 draw in their third-round, second-leg match and advanced to the quarters on a 5-3 aggregate, while Cagliari lost to Lazio 3-2 at Stadio Olimpico but progressed on away-goals rule.
Juventus went ahead three times at Stadio Delle Alpi on an own goal by Cesare Natali, a powerful header by Uruguayan striker Marcelo Zalayeta and a short-range shot from David Trezeguet. But as Trezeguet put Juventus up 3-2 in the 79th minute, captain Alessio Tacchinardi was ejected for hitting an opponent and cost his side any hope of tying the aggregate score.
Atalanta striker Andrea Lazzari, who had scored both goals in the first-leg win at Bergamo, made sure of la Juve’s exit with his hat-trick goal in injury time. In the two-leg quarter-finals, scheduled for January 26 and March 2, Atalanta will play Inter Milan, Cagliari will meet Sampdoria, Udinese will take on AC Milan, and Fiorentina will go against AS Roma.
Cagliari veteran Gianfranco Zola scored the qualifying goal 12 minutes into extra time to oust Lazio. Lazio beat Cagliari 3-2 in the second-leg match at Stadio Olimpico but exited the competition on the away-goals rule.
With the aggregate score at 4-4, the Sardinian team qualified thanks to goals in Rome by Daniele Conti in the 81st minute then Zola. Udinese also qualified on away goals following a 4-3 home loss to Lecce. Udinese won the first leg at Lecce 5-4. AS Roma thrashed Siena 5-1 in a match delayed by smoke bombs, to advance on a 6-3 aggregate.
Copa del Rey
Real Madrid was held to a 0-0 draw on Thursday by second-division Valladolid in the first leg of its third-round Copa del Rey match, ending coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s two-match winning streak. Madrid did little to impress in the match at Valladolid, although it can advance to the quarter-finals of Spain’s knockout competition by winning next week’s second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Luxemburgo rested most of the team’s regulars for his Copa del Rey debut, but included striker Michael Owen together with defenders Michel Salgado and Walter Samuel. Owen combined with rookie Roberto Soldado, who missed the clearest chance of a balanced first half by fluffing his shot after a pass from the left by Albert Celades in the 24th minute.
Valladolid, in fourth place in the second division, nearly led in the 37th minute when forward Aritz Aduriz headed just over the crossbar from Victor Fernandez’s cross from the right wing.