Eden Hazard scored his first goal of the 2021/22 season to help Real Madrid edge Elche 2-1 in the Copa Del Rey Round of 16 on Thursday.
Real Madrid booked their place in the quarter-finals of Copa Del Rey after securing a narrow 2-1 victory over Elche on Thursday. It was a tense affair for the Spanish giants, who had started the game slowly and were overwhelmed by the opposition’s quick breaks that rattled the defence on numerous occasions.
The visiting side eventually settled in, dominating possession and creating chances to put pressure on Elche. However, they were never really able to truly test Axel Werner. Elche’s early pressure also waned, with Guido Carrillo’s two early chances remaining the most substantial period of their attacking game.
Nevertheless, Fran Escriba’s men did just enough to hold off Real Madrid until the 90th minute, leading to extra-time. They had their first big opportunity to score late on when Gerard Gumbau’s effort was saved by Andriy Lunin. The hosts ended up finding the opener shortly after Marcelo was sent off for tackling the last man. The resulting free-kick took a massive deflection off Dani Ceballos to find the back of the net.
The 103rd-minute opener saw Real Madrid push every man forward in search of an equaliser in the second half of extra-time. They did not disappoint either as substitute Isco levelled the scoring in the 108th minute before Eden Hazard netted the winner, seven minutes later, to help Los Blancos secure a crucial victory. The Hard Tackle takes a look at how the Real Madrid players in their tense win over Elche in Copa Del Rey.
Andriy Lunin: 6.5/10
Andriy Lunin made an extraordinary save late in the game to deny Gerard Gumbau. It was the only real occasion where the Real Madrid goalkeeper was tested despite all of Elche’s early pressure and the two early chances from Guido Carrillo.
Lunin 😭😍 pic.twitter.com/uZLUfVfhXG
— Khizer (@khiz_7) January 20, 2022
Lucas Vazquez: 5.5/10
It was not the best of matches for Lucas Vazquez. Filling in for Dani Carvajal, the attacker lacked the precision with his crosses. He also struggled defensively, at times, leaving out space in behind for runners like Fidel.
Nacho Fernandez: 5.5/10
Nacho Fernandez had troubles weathering the early storm from the Elche side. He grew more comfortable as the game progressed, but it was far from a convincing display from the veteran centre-back.
David Alaba: 8/10
David Alaba put in a good shift at the heart of the Real Madrid backline. He used his experience and quality to good effect, especially in the build-up play. The Austrian international showcased his attacking quality as well by producing a crucial through ball that led to Hazard’s late winner.
Marcelo had an excellent game at left-back. He showcased his trademarked tricks and linked up well going forward. The ageing full-back even created multiple goalscoring opportunities in the final third and was a bit unlucky to have been sent off late in the proceedings.
Marcelo still has it 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/vNGy9OfDVR
— Malik (@losblancosDna21) January 20, 2022
Federico Valverde: 6/10
Federico Valverde did not have the best of games against Elche. The midfielder struggled to create anything meaningful going forward and was inconsistent with his defending. The youngster soon needs to recover if he wants to remain a key player for Los Blancos.
Eduardo Camavinga: 7/10
Eduardo Camavinga produced a good shift in midfield. He showed a lot of attacking intent and was willing to make incisive runs forward. He even found a couple of openings to have a shot on goal, but both of his efforts were rather tame. Nevertheless, the youngster made a solid impression and deserves more opportunities.
Toni Kroos: 7/10
As the only experienced operator in the Real Madrid midfield, Toni Kroos’s presence was crucial in helping his team remain on top of the game. He was consistent with his passing and barely put a foot wrong in terms of build-up and ball rotation.
Rodrygo Goes: 6.5/10
Rodrygo showed a lot of intent to make things happen in the final third. However, he lacked the incision that Vinicius possesses and was often very lacking in his final deliveries. He was replaced by Hazard in the 90th minute.
Luka Jovic: 5/10
Luka Jovic had a poor game spearheading the Real Madrid attack. He lacked proper understanding with his attacking teammates, and that is never a good sign for any centre-forward. Overall, the Serb was not involved enough to truly make a difference and was subbed off in the 79th minute.
Vinicius Junior: 8/10
As usual, Vinicius Junior was the lone bright spark in the Real Madrid frontline. He caused problems for the opposition defenders with his trickery, pace, and ability to easily drift past defenders. The winger lacked a bit of end product, but his work rate was invaluable in helping Real Madrid keep the pressure on Elche until the final minute.
Vinícius’ development this season is nothing short of exceptional and he’s still just 21-years old.
— UtdArena (@utdarena) January 20, 2022
Casemiro offered a lot of security in the Real Madrid midfield during the game’s final phase. He showed attacking intent as well, pushing forward late on in the proceedings.
Luka Modric: 6.5/10
Luka Modric’s class and ability in possession were always a bonus for Real Madrid. He offered an excellent work rate in the middle of the park.
Isco made an immediate impact after coming on for Jovic. He offered a splash of creativity that was missing in the Real Madrid attack and was rewarded with a goal in extra-time.
Dani Ceballos: 7.5/10
Dani Ceballos was unlucky to have deflected the Elche free-kick that led to the goal. But the former Arsenal man played a crucial role in helping Real Madrid advance the ball forward in Extra Time.
Eden Hazard: 7/10
Eden Hazard was not exactly the most active player on the pitch after coming on in the 90th minute. But he took his chance well to put the ball past Werner in what was his first goal of the season.
HAZARD OFF THE BENCH TO TAKE THE LEAD FOR MADRID 🤯 pic.twitter.com/glS5WlPnjI
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 20, 2022
Ferland Mendy: N/A
A late replacement for Vinicius. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.