Real Madrid finally cast Olimpic aside to move through to the last 16 of the Copa del Rey after a 2-0 victory at the Bernabeu. Carlo Ancelotti’s side were surprisingly held to a goalless draw by the third-tier outfit in the first meeting between the sides 10 days ago, but goals from Asier Illarramendi and a penalty from Angel di Maria inside the first 30 minutes of the return match ensured comfortable progress. Madrid will now meet an Osasuna side who secured a 2-2 draw against them on Saturday in the next round.
Ahead of their final match of the year at Valencia at the weekend, Ancelotti left out the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric, while Gareth Bale was ruled out through injury and Xabi Alonso and Karim Benzema began on the bench. Those alterations meant youngsters Jese and Alvaro Morata getting run-outs up front, with Casemiro and Nacho also included in the starting lineup.
It took them just 16 minutes to break the deadlock on the night and in the tie. Di Maria was the architect with a sublime chipped pass over the Olimpic defense to find Jese, and the 20-year-old laid the ball square for Illarremendi to run onto and finish coolly high into the net.
The second goal arrived just 12 minutes later, with Di Maria again involved in its creation. His angled ball into the post was headed back across goal by Morata but it struck the raised arm of Kike Alcazar to give the referee little choice but to point to the spot. Di Maria’s penalty was far from convincing and Olimpic goalkeeper Francis got a hand to the low effort but was just unable to keep it out as the ball squirmed into the net.
While Olimpic succeeded in preventing further goals, they never looked like getting back into the contest as the Segunda B side bowed out.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.