Real Madrid made do with a goalless draw at
Valladolid in their Spanish Cup round of 16 first leg.
Having sold Fernando Morientes to Liverpool and announced Javier
Portillo's return from a loan spell with Italian side Fiorentina, Real
gave Michael Owen a chance to prove himself after he had been left on
the sidelines for the first two matches under new coach Wanderley
But like his teammates, Owen and reserve strike partner Roberto Soldado
drew a blank as Real settled for a result which leaves them favourites
to reach the last eight after the second leg.
Earlier Thursday, Real chairman Florentino Perez received an accolade on
the club's behalf from the Association of Spanish Security Directors in
recognition of the orderly fashion in which fans left the Santiago
Bernabeu stadium last month after a bomb threat forced the match with
Real Sociedad to be abandoned.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Atletico Madrid, Real Betis, Sevilla, Osasuna,
Huelva and minnows Lanzarote and Gramanet scored first leg wins to set
themselves up to advance.
Third division Lanzarote shocked Athletic Bilbao 2-1 but the Basque
outfit will still be favoured to proceed after the home return leg.
Another third division side, Lorca, slid to a 3-1 home loss to Atletico
Madrid, who thus recovered from their 3-0 home mauling by Real in the
league last weekend and it was a similar story as Real Betis won by the
same score at Mirandes.
Elsewhere, second division Elche were 1-0 winners over top flight outfit
Numancia, Osasuna beat strugglers Getafe in a battle of two first
division sides, first division Sevilla won 2-0 away to second division
regional rivals Recreativo Huelva and third division Gramanet beat
Lleida, a division above them, 2-0.