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Copa del Rey, Round of 16: Epic Málaga Scare, Celta Upset, And Atleti Cruise

Cacereño 3-4 Málaga

Málaga was cruising. As they should have been. They'd taken a two-goal lead away to a much worse Cacereño side; plus, they're one of the most exciting sides in this young Liga. They should have been fine. But suddenly, everything began to change. Their defense suddenly looked shaky--against a Segunda B side. They were losing balls in the midfield.

And then it happened: Cacereño scored. 1-2. The crowd was going nuts--it was a great shot from Jaraiz in the 37th minute. And then it happened again. Suddenly it was 2-2 and Málaga was sweating: they were actually playing a game, a real live soccer game away from home against a team that was fired up.

But, as it usually does in these circumstances, talent eventually won out. Cacereño has a lot of heart; they do not have a lot of skill. And when their keeper Vargas was ejected in the middle of the second half, there was no chance Málaga would lose.

Cacereño ended up pulling it back to 3-4 in the 87th minute (after two Málaga goals), but there was really no chance.

Almería 2-0 Celta

Celta do not look like a first division side right now. Almería dominated their rivals to the north for the entire match, pulling off two goals and sending a statement to the rest of the competition: they're playing for keeps. And by "keeps" I really mean "quarter-finals if possible, but really we'll take just not being humiliated next game."

Real Jaén 0-3 Atlético Madrid

Atleti are still playing like one of the three best teams in first division. Tonight was a no-nonsense style win, the kind of game that previous iterations of Atleti would have choked. Diego Costa (penalty), Raúl García, and Adrián finished off Jaén, who played most of the match with 10 men, after Dani Torres was very legitimately chucked in the 25th minute. It was a basketball play--just get any part of your body in front of the ball; unfortunately for Dani Torres, smacking a ball with your hands in the area when you're the only person in front of the goal is not likely to win any games for you.

Zaragoza 1-0 Granada

This was a not-really-anything-else-on type of game, and to be honest I spent most of my time on other things. From what I could tell, it wasn't a bad just wasn't a game I'm writing home, or to anyone about. In fact, I'm going to stop writing now.