Heavweights cruise into final 16

Real Madrid side avoided a third successive Copa del Rey humiliation after thrashing Segunda Division B Real Murcia 5-1 at the Bernabeu tonight.

Home-grown hero Granero put Madrid ahead with a superb 20-yard effort. The local boy was one of seven spanish names in the lineup. Just before the break, Higuain picked up a corner at the far post and drilled home a low shot to make it 2-0. That proved to be Higuain's final contribution of the match as he was one of two players sacrificed at the break as Mourinho sent on big guns Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso in a bid to kill the tie off. The changes paid off, Ronaldo made it 3-0 with 15 minutes to go, slotting home from close range following a brilliant cross by fellow substitute Angel Di Maria. Murcia made it 3-1 soon after thanks to Pedro's penalty. Benzema then scored from the penalty spot to make it 4-1 and Alonso fired home a free-kick after 89 minutes to seal the scoreline.

Barcelona, looking to extend their record of 25 cup triumphs, were also big winners as goals from Nolito, Gabriel Milito, Pedro Rodriguez, Bojan Krkic and Lionel Messi saw them down third tier Ceuta 5-1 at home for a 7-1 aggregate scoreline. Bojan also missed a first-half penalty after Ceuta had been reduced to 10 men when Vitor Moreno was sent off.

In tonight's other early kick-off in the Copa del Rey, Segunda Division Real Betis knocked out top-flight strugglers Real Zaragoza on away goals following a 2-1 away win. Zaragoza's exit was the only upset of the night as most of La Liga's leading sides booked their place in the last 16 with few problems.

Holders Sevilla suffered a momentary scare when they fell 1-0 down at home to Real Union after 13 minutes, but they hit back in stunning fashion to record a 6-1 win on the night - six different players getting on the scoresheet - and a 10-1 aggregate victory.

Last season's runners-up Atletico Madrid could only draw 1-1 at home to Universidad de Las Palmas, Fran Merida netting a 75th-minute equaliser for the hosts, but as the Rojiblancos led 5-0 from the first leg there was little chance of an upset at the Vicente Calderon.

In-form Villarreal avoided being dumped out by Polideportivo Ejido for the second time in three seasons as they earned a 3-1 aggregate win. The Yellow Submarine, who embarrassingly lost 6-1 on aggregate to Ejido in 2008, could only record a 1-1 draw from their first-leg meeting but they sealed their progress tonight thanks to goals from Jefferson Montero and Jozy Altidore.

Athletic Bilbao, who are second in the all-time list behind Barcelona with 23 cup wins, avoided the same fate as Madrid from last season as they followed up their 1-o first leg win over Alcorcon with a 2-0 victory tonight, Igor Gabilondo and Pablo Orbaiz the goalscorers.

Levante progressed through on away goals against Segunda Division Xerez despite losing 2-1 at home tonight, while Deportivo La Coruna dumped out Primera Division rivals Osasuna 3-2 on aggregate following a 2-1 triumph at the Riazor this evening. In another all-top flight clash, Almeria, who had trailed 2-0 in their first leg with 23 minutes remaining before hitting back to win 3-2, completed a 5-3 aggregate victory over Real Sociedad. The remaining four last-32 ties will be played tomorrow night