Barca handed tricky Copa tie with Celta, Real faces Numancia

Reuters
Real also has the security of the second leg at home against second division Numancia, which eliminated top-flight opposition in Malaga in the last 32.
Reuters

Holder Barcelona will face Celta Vigo in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey as La Liga's top five were kept apart in Tuesday's draw.

Celta, coached by former Barcelona goalkeeper and assistant manager Juan Carlos Unzue, became the first side to take league points from Barca at the Camp Nou for a year on Saturday in an entertaining 2-2 draw.

The Galicians also shocked Real Madrid on their way to the semifinals last season, but Barca, which hasn't been eliminated by any side other than Real in the Copa since 2010, remains strong favorite to make the quarterfinals once more with the second leg to come at the Camp Nou.

Real also has the security of the second leg at home against second division Numancia, which eliminated top-flight opposition in Malaga in the last 32.

Third-tier Lleida Esportiu is rewarded for its remarkable comeback from 0-3 down on aggregate to beat Real Sociedad on away goals with a matchup against Atletico Madrid.

The other side from Spain's regional third tier left in the draw, Formentera, faces last season's finalist Alaves.

Sevilla was handed an Andalusian derby at Cadiz, which dumped Seville's other club Real Betis in the previous round with a 5-3 away win in the second leg.

The remaining ties are all top-flight affairs, with high-flying Valencia meeting Las Palmas, Leganes playing Villarreal and Levante facing Espanyol.

The ties will be played over two legs in early January.

Reuters

Eddie Nolan scores Crewe Alexandra's second goal against Blackburn Rovers during their English FA Cup second-round match at Ewood Park in Blackburn on December 3, 2017. The match ended 3-3. The winner of this tie will take on Hull City next.

In England, Liverpool will host city rival Everton for the second time inside a month when they faceoff in the third round of the FA Cup in early January after the draw was made on Monday, AFP reported.

Liverpool — which beat Everton in the 2012 semifinal, their last FA Cup meeting — also hosts its struggling neighbor in the English Premier League on Sunday.

Everton has had a torrid time in the EPL so far this season and failed to progress to the knockout stages in the Europa League, although it has the survival specialist Sam Allardyce now installed as manager.

Adding extra spice is a tense relationship between Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Allardyce, with the latter making disparaging remarks about the German in the past.

Klopp, though, offered an olive branch last week, wishing Allardyce — who has brought in former Liverpool midfielder and coach Sammy Lee onto his staff — well in his new job.    

Liverpool has beaten Everton on both the occasions they have met in the final in 1986 and 1989.

Their overall head to head FA Cup record has seen them clash on 23 occasions, with Liverpool winning 10, Everton seven, and six draws.

Elsewhere, holder Arsenal's first challenge is an away trip to second-tier Nottingham Forest while EPL leader Manchester City face a potentially tricky home tie with Burnley.

Arsenal is not the only EPL giant to face second-tier opposition with Manchester United at home to Derby County and last season's beaten finalist Chelsea away at Norwich City.

Several EPL sides could fall prey to giant-killing exploits.

Inconsistent Southampton travels to Fulham, and struggling West Ham United and Swansea City are away at third-tier high-flyer Shrewsbury and Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers, respectively.    


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