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Real Madrid avoid repeat of 2021 shock, beat Alcoyano 3-1

Substitutes Marco Asensio and Isco ensured Real Madrid avoided more Copa del Rey embarrassment against Alcoyano as the LaLiga leaders battled to a 3-1 victory in their round-of-32 tie.

Real Madrid received one of the greatest shocks in Spanish football history 12 months ago when losing to the same third-tier opponents at Estadio El Collao.

Eder Militao gave Real Madrid the lead late in the first half of Wednesday’s clash, just like he did in last year’s meeting, only for Dani Vega to hit back in style for the hosts.

But Carlo Ancelotti’s side, without Karim Benzema, Thibaut Courtois, Luka Modric and Vinicius Junior, regained the lead.

This was through Asensio’s heavily-deflected strike 14 minutes from time before Isco’s poked effort went in off goalkeeper Jose Juan to seal progression.

Alcoyano eliminated LaLiga’s bottom side Levante in the last round and started strongly against Real Madrid, with Vega testing stand-in goalkeeper Andriy Lunin early on.

Eduardo Camavinga blocked a goal-bound shot soon after, and the lively Vega had a penalty kick appeal turned down after being sent to the ground by Militao.

The game soon settled down, and Real Madrid edged in front from their first attempt on target, Militao getting in front of Jose Juan to head in Rodrygo’s corner-kick.

Real Madrid never looked truly settled, and Vega levelled up the game after driving into the penalty box, cutting back inside past the chasing Casemiro and curling a shot away from Lunin.

But the visitors, whose 15-match unbeaten run was ended by Getafe last weekend, soon woke up.

They were back in front when Asensio’s shot from the edge of the penalty area, set up by Eden Hazard, took a big deflection and left Jose Juan wrong-footed.

Fellow substitute Isco thought he had got himself on the scoresheet two minutes later, but it went down as an own goal as the last touch from his prodded effort came off the veteran goalkeeper.

(dpa/NAN)

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