SPORTS: Atletico Madrid Shrug Off Transfer Ban to Reach Copa del Rey Quarters

Madrid: Atletico Madrid bounced back from a difficult day for the club off the field to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey with a 3-0 win over Rayo Vallecano.

FIFA handed the La Liga leaders and rivals Real Madrid a one-year transfer ban to take effect from July on Thursday for alleged irregularities in the signing of minors.

Both clubs have signalled their intention to appeal, but unlike Real, who were expelled from the Cup earlier in the competition for fielding an ineligible player, Atletico could at least console themselves with a place in the last eight.

"I was preparing for the game, so the club phoned me to explain the stuation. They have notified us (of the ban) and the club will appeal," said Atletico boss Diego Simeone.

"It is the people in the offices that have to fix this more than us."

Angel Correa's stunning strike in off the underside of the bar brought an uneventful first half to life six minutes before the break.

With the tie still evenly balanced after a 1-1 draw in the first leg, coach Diego Simeone introduced top scorer Antoine Griezmann from the bench 20 minutes from time.

And for the fifth game in a row, one of Simeone's substitutes scored as Griezmann forced the ball home from close range 10 minutes later.

Griezmann then added his 16th goal of the season in stoppage time as he beat Rayo 'keeper Yoel to a long ball before slotting into an empty net.

Valencia crush Granada

Gary Neville's Valencia also cruised into the quarter-finals in comprehensive fashion with a 3-0 win away to Granada to seal a 7-0 aggregate victory.

Neville is yet to taste victory in La Liga in five attempts since taking charge last month, but has now won each of his three cup ties.

Already carrying a healthy 4-0 lead from the first leg, Neville named an experimental side, but was rewarded for giving youth its chance as Wilfried Zahibo netted his first goal for the club just before half-time.

Spanish international Paco Alcacer then made it 2-0 within seconds of coming on as a substitute before Pablo Piatti rubbed salt into Granada's wounds five minutes from time.

"I am happy with the result, performance and to have kept a clean sheet," said Neville.

Atletico and Valencia join holders Barcelona, Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao, Celta Vigo, Las Palmas and second-tier Mirandes in Friday's quarter-final draw.

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