Real Madrid qualified for the Copa del Rey Round of 16 as they cruised to a 6-1 win over UD Melilla in the second leg at Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday
The visitors started the game in impressive fashion, taking the game to Real Madrid and pressing them hard in their own half. In fact, the first quarter of an hour was an end to end affair, before Los Blancos finally took control of the proceedings. And, a couple of minutes after the half hour mark, the deadlock was broken.
Dani Carvajal picked Marco Asensio in the middle of the park before the attacker produced a stunning run and finished past Pedro Moreno with consummate ease. Asensio then doubled his and Real Madrid’s tally, tapping in from close range after some individual brilliance by Vinicius Jr. out wide.
Six minutes later, Asensio turned provider, producing a delicate chipped pass for Javi Sanchez, who volleyed home his first senior goal for Real Madrid. In the second half, it was Isco’s time to join the party, as the skipper for the day scored a sumptuous long range goal.
Thereafter, the hosts had to bide their time before they added a fifth, with Vinicius finally finding the back of the net after a frustrating evening. On the other end, Melilla grabbed a consolation goal though Yacine Qasmi, who was brought down by Javi Sanchez, before slotting home the resulting penalty.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) December 6, 2018
The win was then rounded off by Isco, who finished from 10 yards to bring the aggregate scoreline to 10-1, as Real Madrid progressed to the Copa del Rey Round of 16. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule on Santiago Solari’s men, who ran riot on the evening.
Keylor Navas: 7/10
Finally got a chance to make an impression on Solari. As expected, it was a largely quiet evening for Navas, although he made one spectacular save down to his right when the ball had deflected off Mohamed Mizzian. Distribution was a little shoddy at times, but the experienced goalkeeper improved on that as the minutes passed. Stood no chance in stopping the penalty.
Alvaro Odriozola: 7/10
Back into the side after a short layoff, Odriozola showed very little signs of rust and used his pace to get in behind the Melilla full-back to good effect. Not as influential as he was in the first leg in Melilla and got caught out of position at times. A largely solid performance, nonetheless.
Javi Sanchez: 6/10
🗣 Javi Sánchez: "It's an unique feeling to play at this stadium and to score a goal here…it's something unique. I want to thank everyone who gave me this opportunity to play here." pic.twitter.com/mIYzny4JBm
— RMOnly (@ReaIMadridOnly) December 6, 2018
Making his second start for the senior team, Sanchez started the game in nervy fashion. But, he soon found his feet and kept a check on the Melilla attack with aplomb. Produced a fine finish for his maiden senior goal, but ended the match in disappointing fashion. A needless foul on Qasmi conceded the penalty, although he will only learn from this experience.
Jesus Vallejo: 7/10
Like Sanchez, Vallejo was in sixes and sevens in the early exchanges. But, the youngster realised that he needed to assume more responsibility, which he did to organise the backline admirably. Would have been pleased to have completed 90 minutes for the first time in a long while.
Dani Carvajal: 7/10
With Marcelo injured and Sergio Reguilon rested, Carvajal had to play as a makeshift left-back and bring some experience at the back. Had very few moments of concern defensively and made a brilliant clearance early on. Made himself available in the final third and was involved in the first goal. Replaced at half-time for an early rest.
Making his first start under the tutelage of Santiago Solari, Isco was even handed the captain’s armband by the Real Madrid boss. The out-of-favour Spaniard flitted in and out of the game, especially in the first half, but he showcased his trademark delicate touches.
Got in on the action post the break, with his finish for his first goal in particular, being delightful. Also got another goal in the dying embers of the game and was cheered raucously all through the game. Will hope his fortunes change for the better now, especially when he’s being linked with a move away from Real Madrid.
Marcos Llorente: 8/10
With Dani Ceballos in the matchday squad, it was surprising that Llorente started on Thursday. But, the youngster continued his fine run, breaking down just about every Melilla attack in the middle of the park while showing off his superb passing range. Withdrawn at half-time, he ought to start on the weekend.
Federico Valverde: 8/10
A player who has been growing in stature over the last three months, Valverde looked like a man on a mission, particularly to score the elusive first goal for Real Madrid. The Uruguayan midfielder did not shy away from taking aim from range and coming close to scoring on a couple of occasions. Even impressed in a deeper role in the second half with his reading of the game.
Marco Asensio: 10/10
Another player who has been on the decline for much of the season, Asensio needed to use this game to get back to form and that is exactly what he did. In his elements from the word go, the Spaniard opened the scoring in the 33rd minute with a remarkable solo goal.
Produced a fine finish to double his tally before assisting the third goal with a breathtaking chipped pass. Got into energy conservation mode in the second half, but still continued to pose a threat. Will hope this is a turnaround for him, especially with Lucas Vazquez usurping him lately.
Mariano Diaz: 6/10
An underwhelming display from Mariano, who looked like he is still lacking the sharpness in his movement and in front of goal. Could have found the back of the net, but was denied by a stunning block by Mohamed Mahanan. Tried his best to score, but it wasn’t to be for him on Thursday. The evening ended in frustration for him as he went off with yet another injury.
Vinicius Junior: 7.5/10
Another player who has impressed at every given opportunity, Vinicius was on the money for the most part on Thursday. The Brazilian linked up well with Isco and Asensio and nearly had an assist before Asensio had opened the scoring.
Vinícius Júnior has been directly involved in five goals in seven games for Real Madrid in all competitions this season:
⚽ 1 goal
🎯 4 assists
A sign of things to come. 💫 pic.twitter.com/jApEjaKWFN
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 6, 2018
Did get his assist in the 35th minute after some brilliant individual work. But, it was clear as the match progressed that he was desperate to score his first goal for Real Madrid. And, just when it looked like it wasn’t going to be his day (after eight missed efforts), the moment finally came for Vinicius in the 75th minute. Could have easily had a hat-trick on another day. Tried the rainbow flick but failed. A moment to learn from.
Fran Garcia: 7/10
On for Carvajal at half-time, the teenager had the chance to impress his former Real Madrid Castilla boss and impress he did. Never shied away from bombing forward when the opportunity presented itself, and defended well too. Got an assist as well, providing the final ball for Isco’s second.
Dani Ceballos: 6/10
With the game and the tie already put to bed, Ceballos never had to get out of second gear. Linked up well with Isco and Asensio, and even got accredited with the assist for the former’s first.
Alvaro Fidalgo: N/A
Another academy product who has received his debut under Solari, Fidalgo got a run out for ten minutes, although he did not have enough time to make an impact.