Two-goal Raphael Varane helps Real Madrid overcome lowly Cornella

first_img Varane and Alvaro Arbeloa, who was spun by Oscar, didn’t cover themselves in glory, but the blasted finish past Keylor Navas from the home side’s No 9 was worthy of the occasion. In the build up to the game he’d doubted whether his side would even get into Madrid’s area; they went one better than that. 29/10/2014 Sam Marsden CET But while they coasted in open play, they were able to make their hosts pay from their first corner of the match. James delivered the cross and Varane thumped home with his head. Cornella usually play in the shadows of Espanyol’s Cornella-El Prat stadium but today they played inside it, borrowing it for this special occasion in their history, and they played their part in this tie as well: Oscar Munoz sent his side’s fans into a state of both disbelief and delirium when he squared the match at 1-1 after Raphael Varane’s headed opener. It was your typical David v Goliath cup tie. Cornella lined up with a dentist, several teachers and a man who looks after the Bicing city bike hire scheme in Barcelona, while Madrid, fielding a weaker team than the one which beat Barca, included €80million man James Rodriguez and French international Karim Benzema in their lineup. Those two were complemented by Isco and Javier Hernandez. It has been six months since Gareth Bale’s goal won Real Madrid the Copa del Rey and on Wednesday night they got their defence of the trophy off to a perfect start. After the highs of Anfield and the Clasico, they managed to keep their heads to overcome third tier side UE Cornella in what proved their 10th consecutive win in all competitions. Cristiano Ronaldo, whose monthly salary would cover the Catalan side’s annual budget, may have been resting back in the Spanish capital, but this was a front four capable of shooting down a side recently promoted to Segunda B without the need to slip into third gear, let alone fifth.center_img Goliath taking an early lead would normally hit David quite hard. Not this David, though. Roared on by a crowd of just under 30,000, Cornella continued to play. They clearly lacked the quality of Madrid but it was still 11 v 11: “They’re only human,” Pep Caballe, the Bicing worker, had said before the game. After 20 minutes, they struck gold. Upd. at 22:23 Several corners later, though, Madrid got themselves back in front. This time Isco delivered the ball, although it was once again Varane who rose highest to nod it beyond Jose Segovia. Varane would score again, though, and Javier Hernandez and Marcelo were also on target as Carlo Ancelotti’s side eventually sealed an inevitable 4-1 win. There will be a second leg, at the Bernabeu, but you get the feeling Madrid are already into the last 16. Cornella’s hopes of a comeback survived until half time, only for Hernandez to end them almost immediately after the restart. The Mexican capitalised on some hesitant defending by dispatching the ball in the bottom corner from the edge of the area. It was his fourth goal in the white of Madrid. Despite that, it was Madrid, not Cornella, who appeared to have stalled early on. Hernandez skewed a pass when well positioned into no man’s land and Alvaro Arbeloa would follow that up with some sloppy control. After such an impressive last seven days, it looked as if Madrid decided they only needed to turn up. After the third goal the home side, dressed in green, had a sustained spell of possession and pressure and may have had a second goal if Joel Marin’s crossing had been better or Oscar had a yard more pace. They couldn’t drag themselves back into in, though, and Marcelo made absolutely sure of the result when he smashed into the roof of the net after Segovia had saved from Isco.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *