Copa round-up: Atleti held, Villarreal lose

Atletico Madrid could only manage a draw away to third tier side Elche as Spain’s top flight clubs struggled in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey ties.

The night also saw high-flying Villarreal downed by Ponferradina while struggling Athletic Bilbao were held to a 1-1 draw by Formentera.

Atleti made numerous changes from their weekend win over Celta for their trip to South-eastern Spain but were given the lead through Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey in the 17th minute.

However, Lolo Pla equalised for the hosts – who were demoted from La Liga for financial irregularities in 2015 – seven minutes after the break, converting his penalty after being felled by Lucas Hernandez in the box.

Elsewhere, midfielder Sergio Cidoncha’s strike just before half time was enough for Ponferradina to hold on to a famous win over Villarreal – inflicting the first defeat of Coach Javier Calleja’s reign.

Raul Garcia salvaged a draw for Athletic Club at Balearic Islands side Formentera after Fernando Linan had given the hosts the lead on the hour on an artificial pitch.

Athletic have now only won once in their last 10 outings in all competitions – a 1-0 home win over Sevilla.

Last year’s beaten semi-finalists Celta Vigo won 2-1 at Eibar thanks to Gustavo Cabral and John Guidetti netting in the first half, with Sergi Enrich netting in between.

Leganes won 2-1 at Segunda side Valladolid as Claudio Beauvue netted two minutes from time after Antonio Cotan had cancelled out Diego Rico’s opener.