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Delight for Rennes but Barcelona frustrated

Wednesday 16 January 2013 23.27 CET
Mevlüt Erdinç (right) is mobbed after scoring for Rennes

A new name will be added to the winners' list of the French League Cup after Stade Rennais FC sealed their place in the final against AS Saint-Étienne on 20 April by beating Montpellier Hérault SC 2-0. Julien Feret ensured a perfect start for the hosts as he escaped the attentions of Hilton before beating goalkeeper Laurent Pionnier from close range seven minutes in. Gaëtan Charbonnier struck a post as the French champions tried to respond, but their quest ended on 51 minutes when Mevlüt Erdinç converted after fine work from Jonathan Pitroipa.

Honours were even as UEFA Champions League contenders FC Barcelona and ten-man Málaga CF drew 2-2 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final. Málaga made the breakthrough at the Camp Nou when Thiago Alcántara was caught in possession by Manuel Iturra, who swept his finish past José Manuel Pinto, but the visitors soon found themselves behind. First, Lionel Messi dispossessed Weligton and curled in the equaliser, then Carles Puyol headed in from a corner on the half-hour.

Nacho Monreal was sent off with 15 minutes remaining for bringing down Pedro Rodríguez as he closed in on goal, yet Manuel Pellegrini's side stunned the hosts in the final minute when Ignacio Camacho sneaked in to poke Duda's free-kick past Pinto and set up an intriguing return on 24 January. In the evening's other last-eight tie, Real Zaragoza were held to a goalless draw at home by Sevilla FC.

AS Roma completed the Coppa Italia semi-final lineup thanks to a 1-0 extra-time win at ACF Fiorentina. A tight contest was settled by Mattia Destro on 97 minutes when he tapped in Miralem Pjanić's cross after the midfielder had been released by Michael Bradley. Juan Guillermo Cuadrado fired against the upright in response before being dismissed, while Roma finished with nine men as Rodrigo Taddei and Dodô were also red-carded. The Giallorossi face FC Internazionale Milano in the last four, while the other semi-final will be contested by S.S. Lazio and Juventus.

Manchester United FC and Arsenal FC came through FA Cup third-round replays by the narrowest of margins against West Ham United FC and Swansea City AFC respectively. United took the lead after nine minutes at Old Trafford when Javier Hernández's cross was tapped in by Wayne Rooney, but the goalscorer failed to put the tie to bed as he missed a penalty with 11 minutes to play. Sir Alex Ferguson's men saw out time, however, to earn a fourth-round visit of Fulham FC. Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere found the net four minutes from the end as Arsenal won their replay at home to Swansea to book a trip to Brighton & Hove Albion FC.

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