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More goals for Messi, quarter-final joy for Swansea

Wednesday 12 December 2012 23.56 CET
Gerard Piqué (right) congratulates Lionel Messi on one of his two goals against Córdoba

England
A solitary late own goal from Seb Hines sent Swansea City AFC into the semi-finals of the League Cup for the first time at the expense of second-tier high-fliers Middlesbrough FC. Hines, under pressure, headed a corner into the visitors' net after 81 minutes in south Wales. The lineup for the last four – which also features Aston Villa FC and fourth-division Bradford City AFC, conquerors of Arsenal FC – will be completed on 19 December when Leeds United AFC host Chelsea FC. 

Italy
Juventus and Calcio Catania joined AS Roma – who on Tuesday beat Atalanta BC – in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals. Catania, having drawn level against Parma FC through Francesco Lodi's penalty, required spot kicks to progress at the Stadio Ennio Tardini, going through 4-3 after Marco Parolo and Gabriel Paletta failed from 11 metres. Giovanni Marchese converted his attempt, booking the Elefantini a tie against S.S. Lazio or AC Siena.

Juventus, meanwhile, got the job done in regulation time against Cagliari Calcio thanks to Sebastian Giovinco's 57th-minute goal in Turin. The Bianconeri will face AC Milan or Reggina Calcio, who play on Thursday, in the last eight.

Spain
Three days after surpassing Gerd Müller's record 85-goal haul for club and country in a calendar year, Lionel Messi struck twice as holders FC Barcelona prevailed 2-0 at Córdoba CF in the first leg of their Copa del Rey round of 16 tie. Real Madrid CF lost 2-1 at RC Celta de Vigo, but were given hope ahead of the 9 January return by Cristiano Ronaldo's 87th-minute strike. 

The night's biggest winners were Sevilla FC, who cruised to a 5-0 victory at RCD Mallorca, the Liga strugglers who had succumbed 4-0 to Levante UD on Sunday. Club Atlético de Madrid, meanwhile, established a 3-0 lead at home to neighbours Getafe CF thanks in part to Diego Costa's double. Elsewhere, there was disappointment for last season's runners-up Athletic Club whose 1-1 home draw with SD Eibar in a rescheduled round of 32 second leg meant the Leones were eliminated on aggregate after the corresponding fixture ended scoreless.

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