Athletic Bilbao, Malaga seize edge in Copa del Rey round-of-16 first legs
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Striker Aritz Aduriz scored two goals and set up another to help Athletic Bilbao beat Celta Vigo 4-2 in the Copa del Rey's round of 16 on Tuesday.
Malaga also seized control of its tie against Levante with a 2-0 victory at home thanks to brilliant goals by Juan Pablo Anor and Ricardo Horta.
Bilbao, a 23-time cup winner, took advantage of a series of defensive errors to build a commanding advantage for next week's second leg at home. Mikel San Jose tapped in after Aduriz headed the ball on from Xabier Etxeita's free kick in the fifth minute.
Alex Lopez leveled for Celta in the 11th, only for Aduriz to nod home against Celta's slack defending four minutes later.
Charles made it 2-2 in the 54th from Mikel Balenziaga's bad clearance, but Markel Susaeta scored after Celta lost possession in the 61st. Celta had David Costas sent off in the 70th, and Aduriz converted a penalty in the 87th after he was pulled down by Gustavo Cabral.
"It's a good result, I won't deny it, but we respect Celta too much to make the mistake of saying that the tie is decided," Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde said. "Celta has enough weapons to make it difficult for us in San Mames, so until next Wednesday nothing is over."
In its match, Malaga took the lead with a superb goal from Anor in the 16th minute when he rifled a left-foot shot into the top corner of the net after fending off his marker. Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa made two good saves to deny Levante, and Malaga's Luis Alberto hit the upright before Horta doubled the lead in the 78th by chipping the ball over goalie Jesus Fernandez before smashing it home.
The winners of these two ties will meet in the quarterfinals. On Wednesday, cup holder Real Madrid visits Atletico Madrid in a meeting of the last two winners. Barcelona hosts Elche on Thursday.