Real Madrid take Copa del Rey first lead over Leganes to ease pressure on Santiago Solari
Copa del Rey last 16 first leg, Santiago Bernabeu - Real Madrid 3 (Ramos pen 44', Vazquez 68', Vinicius 77') Leganes 0
Real Madrid took a commanding lead in their Copa del Rey last 16 tie against Leganes, cruising to a 3-0 first leg win.
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For much of the match, this looked like being a real test for Santiago Solari’s side, with the visitors to the Santiago Bernabeu taking the game to the European champions in the first half. But Sergio Ramos’ opener from the spot just before the break changed the dynamic of the contest.
From there, Real Madrid took a grip of things, with Lucas Vazquez doubling his side’s advantage, finishing into the gaping net after Karim Benzema had made the most of a Leganes defensive error in the box.
And Vinicius added his name to the score sheet late on, finding the back of the net with an astonishing volleyed finish from an Alvaro Odriozola cross. This will ease some of the pressure that had been building on Solari following recent results.
TALKING POINT - Real Madrid getting more dependent on Vinicius Junior with every game
Real Madrid have struggled for an attacking spark in recent weeks. However, they might have found it in Vinicius, who has started their last two games. The teenager is still raw, as demonstrated by some of his finishing in this game, but he gives his side something they lack when Gareth Bale is on the sidelines. Real Madrid are becoming more dependant on their 18-year-old wunderkind with every passing game.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Alvaro Odriozola (Real Madrid)
Vinicius will, most likely, be the one on the back pages of the Spanish papers tomorrow, but Odriozola was Real Madrid’s most consistent performer. Even in the first half, when Leganes were on top, the young full back was an effective outlet, getting up and down the right wing with complete freedom. On this basis, it might not be long before Odriozola is challenging Carvajal for his place for both club and country.
17’ Skied over the bar! It's that combination between Benzema and Vazquez again! The latter threaded in the former, but Benzema put his shot over when he should have hit the target.
18’ Across the face! Leganes were in behind the Real Madrid defence. The pass across the face of goal from Merino was a good one, but Braithwaite couldn't reach it and Ramos puts it behind.
26’ Braithwaite on the counter! That was a big opportunity for Leganes to take the lead at the Santiago Bernabeu. Braithwaite was released through on the counter, but his drags his shot wide.
36’ What a save! That could have been an opener for Leganes. Braithwaite got on the end of a corner, his header was a powerful one, but Navas makes the big save at his near post!
42’ PENALTY KICK TO REAL MADRID! The referee points to the spot after Gumbau knocks over Odriozola in the box.
44’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Leganes: It's Ramos who steps up to the 12-yard mark and the Real Madrid captain makes no mistake in burying his shot. Cuellar guessed the wrong way and the home side have an advantage that didn't look like coming in this first half.
68’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Leganes: The hosts have been better in this second half and they have now given themselves a two-goal cushion! Bustinza's poor backpass was pounced upon, Vinicius showed composure to set up Vazquez who finished into the gaping net!
77’ GOAL! Real Madrid 3-0 Leganes: Is that the tie put to bed? Lovely finish from Vinicius who has given Real Madrid a commanding 3-0 lead! The cross was made by Odriozola down the right and the Brazilian finds the back of the net with a first-time volley! Excellent goal.
- Vinicius Junior has been involved in more goals (six) than any other La Liga player in this season’s Copa del Rey.
- Sergio Ramos scored the 100th goal of his professional career (80 for Real Madrid, 17 for Spain, three for Sevilla).