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Real Madrid - Sevilla

3-0: Madrid take a big step towards Copa del Rey quarter-finals

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REPORT | 04/01/2017 | Alberto Navarro

A James brace and a Varane header saw the Whites overcome Sevilla to extend their unbeaten run to 38 games. 
  • Copa del Rey
  • Round of 16 (First leg)
  • 04/01/2017
Santiago Bernabéu
Real Madrid opened 2017 with a win, as the Whites extended their record-breaking unbeaten run to 38 games. Despite the absences of several members of the first-team squad, the hosts evidenced their strength in depth to claim a commanding lead ahead of the second leg, courtesy of a James double and Varane header, all of which came in the opening 45 minutes.

The home side set themselves on the way to victory with 11 minutes on the clock. Casemiro stole in near to the edge of the Sevilla box, where James picked the ball up, before unleashing a stunning strike from the edge of the area which curled beyond the dive of the powerless Sergio Rico. The hosts were pressing high up the field and came racing out of the traps to catch Sevilla cold, with the visitors unable to cope with Madrid's purposeful start. Luka Modric came a whisker away from doubling the Whites' advantage on 15' when Dani Carvajal's centre found the Croat, who got the home faithful off their seats with a scissors kick from the penalty spot which shaved the upright.

Towering Varane header
Real Madrid continued to pour forward in search of further goals and they made it 3-0 just before the half-hour mark. James' cross from the right on 29' found Marcelo at the far post, but Sergio Rico was equal to his volleyed effort to push the ball behind for a corner. Kroos swung the subsequent corner over and Raphaël Varane leapt highest to glance the ball home. 

Varane has found the back of the net four times this term, which represents a career-best goals return.

Álvaro Morata had a chance to score minutes later after great individual play and Sevilla also had the opportunity to reduce the deficit but Kiko Casilla did brilliantly in two one-to-ones to deny Correa and Vitolo in the 34th and 41st minutes respectively. But it was just before the break when the third Madrid goal came. Modric was brought down in the area and James converted the penalty in the 44th minute, getting his second of the game, rounding off a great first half for Real Madrid.

The second half was much more even. Real Madrid didn’t look to press due to the lead they already had, meaning that Sevilla enjoyed more possession, but they didn’t turn that into any clear-cut chances. As the clock clicked down the home side held on to their lead until the end, with Real Madrid finishing the job thanks to great collective work, taking a big step towards the next round of the Copa del Rey. The Sánchez Pizjuán will host the decider next Thursday.