Footballing actions returns to Spain in 2017 as Real Madrid extend their unbeaten run to 38 matches in all competitions with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Sevilla in the first leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 clash.
James Rodriguez Scores Brace As Real Madrid Trash Sevilla In Copa Del Ray [REPORT]
On Zinedine Zidane’s one-year anniversary at the club, under-fire playmaker James Rodríguez bagged a first-half brace either side of a headed goal for Raphaël Varane. This gave Los Blancos the edge going into the second leg in Seville on 12 January.
Álvaro Morata missed a glorious early chance after Luka Modric picked out the Spain international in the six-yard box, diverting the ball wide though his blushes were saved by the linesman who flagged for offside.
Madrid soon took the lead as Casemiro dispossessed Steven N’Zonzi on the edge of his penalty area with the ball trickling onto the path of Rodríguez, who beat Sergio Rico from 20 yards out.
Zidane’s men continued to dominate with Marcelo going close when Dani Carvajal picked out the Brazilian full-back at the far post to thunder a volley straight at Rico. Toni Kroos found Varane from the resulting corner and the Frenchman headed home his fourth goal of the season into the bottom corner.
Things got worse for Jorge Sampaoli’s men before half-time when Mariano bundled over Modric in the area for a penalty, allowing Rodríguez to coolly finish past Rico to put Madrid 3-0 up at the break.
The hosts continued to put pressure on the visitors’ defence in the second period, with Morata and Danilo missing good scoring chances.