Thursday 5 January 2017

Real Madrid: James Rodríguez Gives Sevilla Rude Awakening In Copa del Rey

James Rodríguez

Real Madrid started 2017 by extending 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.

A first-half brace from James Rodríguez and a Raphaël Varane header was enough for Madrid to ease the foot off the gas in the second half before 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. Morata diverted the ball wide with the linesman saving the striker’s blushes as he was flagged for offside.

It did not take long for Madrid to break the deadlock as their high-pressing game saw Casemiro dispossess Steven N’Zonzi on the edge of his penalty area and the ball kindly fell to Rodríguez, who curled into the bottom corner from 20 yards out, leaving Sergio Rico no chance.

Los Blancos nearly doubled their lead when the marauding Dani Carvajal found space on the right byline and picked out Modric on the penalty spot, who acrobatically volleyed just wide. The hosts continued to dominate with Marcelo going close when Carvajal again had time to pick out the Brazilian full-back at the far post to thunder a volley straight at Rico. The keeper somehow managed to keep the ball out of the net, but not for long. The resulting corner from Toni Kroos found Varane, who headed home his fourth goal of the season into the bottom corner.

The contest was pretty much over by half-time when Los Rojiblancos gave away a spot-kick when Mariano bundled over Modric in the area. Rodríguez coolly despatched the spot-kick into the bottom corner to put Madrid 3-0 up at the break.

After the restart, the hosts continued to put pressure on the visitors’ defence with Marcelo, a constant threat down the left-hand side, picking out Morata in the penalty box but, despite a slip from Rami, the striker could only screw his volley wide.

Late on, Casemiro produced a wonder pass to Danilo on the edge of Sevilla’s penalty area which ended with another Rico save – but the second half lacked any penetration.



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