Real Madrid 6 Melilla 1 (10-1 agg): Asensio and Isco at the double

By Sports Desk December 06, 2018

Isco offered a timely reminder of his quality to head coach Santiago Solari with a brace in Real Madrid's processional 6-1 win over Melilla in the Copa del Rey.

It meant a 10-1 aggregate triumph over their third-tier opponents to progress to the last 16, with Marco Asensio's quickfire double after the half-hour getting Madrid up and running.

Asensio then crafted a maiden senior strike for rookie centre-back Javi Sanchez, with Isco – making his first start under Solari – netting brilliantly in the 47th minute.

Vinicius Junior got in on the act and Isco's second came after Yacine Qasmi converted a consolation penalty for the visitors.

Mohamed Mohamed Mahanan needed a brilliant last-ditch challenge to deny Mariano as Madrid predictably started quickly and Vinicius blazed over following clever work from Isco.

It left Asensio to show his team-mates how it should be done as he eased through an already-tiring defence in the 33rd minute and caressed a finish past Pedro Luis.

Right-back Pepe Lopez was beaten far too easily by Vinicius, as he set up a second for Asensio, who then turned provider with a chipped pass for Javi Sanchez to volley in off the underside of the crossbar.

Isco spectacularly got in on the act early in the second half, clipping a brilliant 25-yarder into the top corner – earning Solari's applause as the Bernabeu faithful sung his name.

There was less to shout about for Vinicius, who rounded Pedro Luis but could only bundle a finish into the side netting before the goalkeeper repelled a later strike with his feet.

Persistence paid off for the 18-year-old, who unfurled a celebratory jig in the 75th minute after beating Pedro Luis at the second attempt.

Javi Sanchez blotted his afternoon with the foul that allowed Qasmi to send Keylor Navas the wrong way before Isco was given space to lash into the bottom corner from 10 yards in the 83rd minute.

What does it mean? Isco still a Bernabeu favourite

It has been a testing few weeks for one of the most gifted players in Spain. Handed the captain's armband for his return to the starting XI, a week on from being dropped from Solari's squad to face Roma in the Champions League, Isco's first stepovers brought cheers from the Madrid faithful. He had them in the palm of his hand thereafter, albeit against limited opposition.

Asensio brings a clinical edge

If you were to list Real Madrid personalities for whom this season has not quite gone to plan, Asensio would not be near the top. However, one goal from 14 LaLiga appearances is a suboptimal return for such a lavishly-gifted attacker. Scoring two and creating another here might be the spark he needs.

Vinicius dogged but wasteful

A goal and an assist on his first start at the Santiago Bernabeu is not a shabby return for Vinicius, but he might rue the wayward finishing he produced before finally getting on the scoresheet. A hat-trick or more might have pushed him closer to LaLiga starts for a Madrid team lacking a clinical edge this term.

What's next

Solari's men travel to Huesca on Sunday, while Melilla continue their Segunda B promotion bid at home to VIllanovense.

Related items

  • Valverde not nervous about Messi penalties after spot-kick miss Valverde not nervous about Messi penalties after spot-kick miss

    Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde is not worried about Lionel Messi taking penalties after the superstar scored one and failed to convert another against Real Valladolid.

    It was a mixed evening for Messi at Camp Nou, where the Barca captain's 43rd-minute penalty led the LaLiga leaders to a 1-0 victory on Saturday.

    Messi – who has scored 30 or more goals in each of his last 11 seasons in all competitions for Barca – should have had a second but the five-time Ballon d'Or winner saw his 85th-minute spot-kick kept out by Jordi Masip.

    "No, no, I'm not particularly nervous. I was convinced he was going to score both," Valverde replied when asked if he was anxious about Messi taking penalties.

    "Leo is a safe bet. He could have scored more goals as well."

    Barca were far from their best but the defending champions still managed to get past visitors Valladolid as they returned to winning ways.

    Three consecutive draws against Valencia and Athletic Bilbao in LaLiga, and Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-finals, raised eyebrows and while Valverde acknowledged Barca's shortcomings on Saturday, he is confident his side will rediscover their best.

    Barca travel to French side Lyon for the opening leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

    "In the first half, we had very little fluidity in attack and did not move the ball with the necessary speed," Valverde told reporters.

    "They changed their system and we were not fluent and could not circulate things quickly but their goalkeeper did well. Some games are won like that, though, and Tuesday [against Lyon] will be another challenge for us.

    "I see the team as being ready to give their best now and get back to that. Sometimes you won't be brilliant in every game but there are four important matches coming up and we will go step by step."

  • Sanchez 'worried' amid Man United struggles Sanchez 'worried' amid Man United struggles

    Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez admitted he is "worried" having failed to bring more joy to the Premier League club and their fans.

    Sanchez has struggled for form and fitness since arriving from rivals Arsenal in January last year, with the 30-year-old scoring just five goals as a United player.

    United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he cannot help Sanchez after the former Barcelona star's disappointing performance in Tuesday's 2-0 first-leg loss to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

    And ahead of Monday's FA Cup fifth-round meeting with Chelsea, Sanchez said he is determined to showcase his best at Old Trafford.

    "He (Solskjaer) hasn't spoken to me a great deal about what I have to do on the pitch, but I think I'm an experienced player and I think I know what I need to do and what I shouldn't do," Sanchez told the BBC.

    "I'm a player that, if I'm not in contact with the ball, I lose that spark, and sometimes I want to play in every game. You're in, you're out, and I'm used to playing.

    "It's not an excuse because if I go on for 10, 20 minutes, I have to perform because that's what I'm here for, to make a difference.

    "I would like to have brought more joy to the club. Yes, it worries me because I believe in my abilities as a player, I want to show it."

    "I don't know how people see me, but football is what I've loved from being a kid and it's my passion," Sanchez added.

    Sanchez also confirmed that he was injured after an assistant referee ran into him while warming up during United's Champions League fixture against Ligue 1 holders PSG.

    The Chile international underwhelmed after replacing injured team-mate Jesse Lingard on the stroke of half-time.

    "The referee's assistant, when we had a counter-attack, came flying down the line, and I had my foot there and he crashed into me. Bang," Sanchez said.

    "And I went back to the dugout and I said to [reserve goalkeeper] Sergio Romero: 'I've just been whacked and I'm about to go on'. I've got bruising but that's not an excuse for not being on my game in the way that I normally am."

  • Piatek lives to score goals - Milan striker's brilliant double pleases Gattuso Piatek lives to score goals - Milan striker's brilliant double pleases Gattuso

    Gennaro Gattuso commended Krzysztof Piatek's hunger for goals following the AC Milan striker's game-changing brace in the valuable 3-1 Serie A victory over Atalanta.

    Poland international Piatek notched his fifth and sixth goals since joining from Genoa in January to inspire a come-from-behind away win that sent Milan four points clear in fourth.

    The 23-year-old cancelled out Remo Freuler's opener with a terrific finish from Ricardo Rodriguez's cross in first-half stoppage time and, following Hakan Calhanoglu's unstoppable strike, wrapped up the result by heading in a corner on Saturday.

    Piatek has now scored six times in his past four appearances and the quality of his inventive equaliser did not go unnoticed by Rossoneri boss Gattuso.

    "In seven to eight months [in Serie A] everyone has become accustomed to these goals," Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia.

    "Piatek is a player that lives to score goals. He is doing well with his movements and he has superior technical skills.

    "We are happy to have him with us.

    "In general, I don't want to hear individuals spoken about, but the group. Results are helping us, they're bringing enthusiasm. We need to continue like this and work with a sense of calm."

    Piatek, who also hit a double in the Coppa Italia defeat of Napoli last month, returned the compliment to Gattuso.

    "He's a great coach and he was a legend for this club," Piatek told Milan TV.

    "I feel like I'm in a family here, I feel very good and I'm happy. I need to carry on like this while looking to help the team."

    Atalanta's first loss in seven Serie A matches saw them slide back to seventh and head coach Gian Piero Gasperini was left searching for answers as to the confidence that deserted his team.

    "I don't know why we lost conviction," Gasperini said. "It must no longer happen because this Atalanta side must play without pressure

    "We are not a team that is supposed to make the Champions League."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.