31 October 2012
Real Madrid made their 2012/2013 Copa del Rey debut with a commendable away triumph against Alcoyano in the first leg of the tournament's round of thirty-two. Goals came from Benzema and Kaká in the first half then first-team newcomer José Rodríguez and the French forward again in the second. The team led by José Mourinho proved very effective, managing to thwart their rival's clear opportunities at goal. Nevertheless, a goal from Lara in the final stretch managed to close the gap. The Real Madrid coach formed a line-up full of new faces with respect to the last League match. Academy players Nacho, Morata and Álex were present and the team performed at top level in order to achieve an advantage in the playoff that concludes on 28 November in the Santiago Bernabéu. After their successful result they will now be focussing on their next League match against Zaragoza.
The Whites hit the pitch at El Collao with nine new players in the starting line-up with respect to the last League match played against Mallorca. Alcoyano kicked off the match with the added motivation brought by their rival and the support of their home crowd. With great positioning the local team bore down on the Real Madrid players at the top of the pitch, taking four corners in only seven minutes. At the outset of the match the two teams fought with great intensity to win control of the centre of the field, resulting in a lack of opportunities at goal.
Little by little Mourinho's team freed themselves of their rival's hold and in their first aerial incursion Benzema scored 0-1 (21’). Callejon struggled against the Alicante defense for a long ball and it fell to the Frenchman who advanced well, beating Unai Alba and opening the scoreboard. At that point the Whites began to enjoy themselves more with the ball and control the match. As a result, Morata scored in the 32’ after a good pass from Kaká. However the goal was disallowed by the referee for offside. The second goal did make it on the scoreboard in the 35’, with a shot by Kaká from the edge of the area. Benzema took the ball down the field and passed it to the Brazilian, who scored with a low left-footed shot slipped in next to the left post.
The home team tried coming back thanks to Edison and De Dios, Alcoyano's most effective players. The former shot high on two occasions (38’ y 44’) while Adán, who remained confident throughout the match, blocked the latter's shot from the edge of the area. In the stoppage time Kaká shot a free kick from the side of the field directly at goal in an attempt to surprise the home keeper, but the ball went just over the crossbar.
The second half started with José Rodríguez making his debut with Real Madrid. He came on in substitution of Álex, who was well positioned and focused on containing the rivals at all times but was booked for a foul in the 42’. Alcoyano hit the pitch once more applying pressure at the top of the field and looking for opportunities, particularly at moments where the ball was stopped. Modric was the second Real Madrid substitution, going on for Essien in the 60’ just before the third goal (67’). In a great piece of play enabled by the whole team, Benzema passed to José Rodríguez inside the area and the academy player scored a fantastic goal, shooting with the inside of his right foot.
In the 70’ Benzema had the chance to score his second goal of the night but the rival keeper kicked his shot clear. The home team sought a face-saving goal but Adán thwarted all their attempts. In the 62’ he saved a shot by Fran Piera from the front of the area and in the 73’ and 75’ he disrupted two other promising rival efforts. There was nothing he could do in the 77’ when Lara shot a penalty kick directly at goal from the right side. The Whites dominated in the final stage and concluded the match with a goal from Benzema in the 87’, who slipped his shot under Unai Alba in a great combination with Morata. After their successful result the team will now be focussing on their next League match against Zaragoza next Saturday.