Marco Asensio and Isco struck twice each as Real Madrid routed minnows Melilla to ease their way into the last 16 of the Copa del Rey with a 6-1 romp.
Asensio’s double came in quick succession amid a flurry of activity late in the first half as he found the back of the net twice before defender Javi Sanchez added a third inside seven minutes.
Isco made it 4-0 two minutes after the break and then, after 18-year-old Vinicius Junior had got his name on the scoresheet, doubled his tally.
Melilla striker Yacine Qasmi left the Bernabeu Stadium with something to celebrate after converting a late penalty, but the Segunda Division B, Group 4 leaders bowed out on the wrong end of a 10-1 aggregate scoreline as Santiago Solari’s men handed him a seventh win in eight outings as head coach.
Having left the newly-crowned Ballon D’Or winner Luka Modric out of the 18, Solari had to be patient and it was not until the 33rd minute that the LaLiga giants got their noses in front when Asensio ran on to full-back Dani Carvajal’s ball and fired into the bottom corner of Pedro Luis’ goal.
Once the seal had been broken, Real had the bit between their teeth and they extended their lead within two minutes when Asensio repeated the feat with teenager Vinicius Junior this time supplying the ammunition.
The game, as well as the tie, was effectively over six minutes before the break when Asensio turned provider to allow Sanchez to help himself to a third, and Melilla’s hopes of keeping matters respectable were deal a further blow within two minutes of the restart when skipper Isco blasted home from distance.
Vinicius went close twice in quick succession and then had two more efforts saved as the home side went for the kill, but he finally got his reward with 15 minutes remaining when he rounded off a pacy break.
Qasmi made no mistake from 12 yards after being fouled by Sanchez as time ran down, but the respite was temporary and Isco restored the five-goal margin seven minutes from time.
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The Sport360 staff will bring you all of the latest updates from the Santiago Bernabeu.
4:50 – Isco speculation continues
The Italian press are reporting that Serie A champions Juventus are preparing a bid for Isco, with the playmaker rarely featuring under new manager Santiago Solari.
3:00pm – Real Madrid squad to face Melilla tonight
1:00pm – Rodrygo will not be joining Los Blancos in January
Rodrygo does not believe he will move to Real Madrid early as the Brazilian sensation prepares to join Santiago Solari’s side in July.
Los Blancos agreed a fee in the region of €45 million to sign the 17-year-old attacker from Santos.
But the Sao Paulo native – who celebrates his 18th birthday next month – does not expect to move to the Spanish capital in the winter transfer window.
11:00am – Modric gets Solari backing
Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari had no doubt that Luka Modric deserved to win this year’s Ballon d’Or.
Modric was named the winner of the award on Monday, coming in ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who finished second and fifth respectively.
“It’s Modric’s year. The focus has to be on him,” Solari said.
Read what the manager had to say here.
09:00 – Clips from Wednesday’s training session
Amid debates over whether Luka Modric deserved to win the Ballon d’Or, Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari insisted the Croatian was worthy of the award after a tremendous year with both club and country.
The 33-year-old was a vital cog in Croatia’s dream run in the World Cup, which ended in the final defeat to France. He also helped Los Blancos march on to their third straight Champions League trophy.
“It’s Modric’s year. The focus has to be on him. He’s had a wonderful year and he’s given everything to Real Madrid and his national team,” said Solari.
“It comes at a time of maturity in his career. It seems to me that at that age it’s more beautiful because he can truly value it. We’re all very happy with his prize.”
The Croatian ended the duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi which had seen the pair dominate the ceremony in the last decade, winning five trophies each.