Jese Rodriguez made a goalscoring return from injury, finding the net as Real Madrid eased into the next round of the Copa Del Rey with a 5-0 (9-1 on aggregate) win over Cornella.
The 21-year-old had missed nearly nine-months of action after suffering a knee injury last season, but made the perfect return by capping a 34-minute substitute cameo with a goal.
Cornella missed the chance to take the lead on the night when Boniquet blasted a penalty kick over the bar after winning the spot kick from stand-in Real captain Alvaro Arbeloa.
James Rodriguez opened the scoring just 90 seconds after the miss, setting Los Blancos on course for a comfortable win, with another from Rodriguez, strikes from Isco and Jese, as well as an own goal from Borja Lopez.
The result sets up a possible Copa clash against city rivals Atletico Madrid, who face Hospitalet in the competition’s fourth round on Wednesday.
James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring Real’s opening goal during the Copa Del Rey Round of 32, Second Leg match …
16’ PENALTY MISS: Boniquet won the spot kick with a nice bit of skill, fooling Arbeloa into the foul, but he blasts his effort over the bar. That was a poor penalty kick from Boniquet.
18’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1 Cornella 0: What a lovely finish from Rodriguez! He’s played through by Isco and then loops a chipped finish over the keeper. Brilliant.
33’ COENTRAO CHANCE: He should have taken the shot himself! Coentrao is played in behind the Cornella defence, but with the goalkeeper off his line he tries to find Hernandez but the pass is cut out. He should have been more selfish!
34’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2 Cornella 0: The home side have a second goal! Rodriguez plays a wonderful pass through to Isco, who chips the ball over the onrushing keeper. Fantastic.
35’ GOAL! Real Madrid 3 Cornella 0: And there’s a second in as many minutes for Los Blancos! This time it’s Rodriguez who finds the net, sweeping home from just outside the penalty area. Nice finish.
55’ NACHO CLEARANCE: Really good defending from Nacho! A cross from Boniquet catches out Pacheco, who is caught in no man’s land, but the young defender is on hand to clear over his own crossbar.
61’ GOAL! Real Madrid 4 Cornella 0: He’s been desperate for that goal all night! Hernandez finds the net with a shot off the underside of the bar.
77’ GOAL! Real Madrid 5 Cornella 0: Jese is back! What a popular goal that is with the home crowd! The finish was from Jese, but it was Isco that created it.
91’ PENALTY CLAIM: Isco tries to dribble his way through the Cornella defence, but is brought down. Hernandez leaves it, as he believes he is offside, but the referee says ‘no pen’ when he should have pointed to the spot.
With four, no other Real Madrid player has scored more Copa del Rey goals than Jese Rodríguez over the last two seasons (level with Angel Di Maria).
James Rodríguez has already scored nine goals this season, only two fewer than Angel Di Maria did over the course of the entire last campaign.
Rodríguez is the first Real Madrid player to score in four different competitions this season.
TALKING POINT – Where does Jese Rodriguez fit into the Real Madrid fold?
He may have spent nearly nine months on the sidelines through injury, but the Santiago Bernabeu hasn’t forgotten Jese. He became a favourite of the home crowd last season and picked up where he left off with an impressive return. But with so much competition for the attacking positions, where does the 21-year-old fit in again at Real Madrid? He’s too good to be sitting on the bench.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Isco
It was something of a surprise that in such a dead-rubber tie he played all 90 minutes, but against inferior opposition Isco made the most of the opportunity. The playmaker was in tricky form, chipping in a neat goal and contributing a couple of assists too. Everything Real Madrid did well came through Isco.
Real Madrid – Pacheco 5, Coentrao 6, Nacho 6, Varane 5, Arbeloa 5, Medran 7, Illarramendi 7, Khedira 6, Isco 8, James 8, Hernandez 6. Subs – Llorente 5, Jese 7, Munoz 6.
Cornella – Inigo 6, Israel 5, Pelegri 5, Lopez 4, Pere 7, Garcia 5, Gomez 5, Gaudisio 6, Boniquet 6, Gallar 7, Munoz 5. Subs – Joaquin 5, Trujillo 5, Caballe 5.