Real Madrid vs. Alcoyano: Score, Analysis and Grades
It was not the most inspiring victory, but Real Madrid's 3-0 victory was more than enough to push the team past Alcoyano in the fourth round of Copa del Rey.
The first half offered little excitement, as neither side was able to break the deadlock. The most thrilling moment came on a thumping volley from Luka Modric that was impressively kept out by Alcoyano goalkeeper Sanchez Adrian Murcia.
Murcia's name was mentioned often in this game. Despite most of Madrid's stars resting for the Copa del Rey fixture, Alcoyano was significantly overmatched.
While Alcoyano's effort was admirable, its ultimate effect was to cause Jose Mourinho to call on Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema. Shortly thereafter, a well-timed pass from Benzema led to a perfectly placed shot, and Madrid took the lead in the 71st minute.
Mesut Ozil and Di Maria both played ball through the Alcoyano defense to José Maria Callejón, and the Spanish striker earned two goals in the closing minutes of the match.
Luka Modric, Real Madrid: B-
Mordic very nearly set the tone for the match early on, but his cracking shot was denied, and the match remained scoreless up until the 70th minute.
The midfield maestro certainly ensured that Madrid dominated possession and spent the majority of the time in its attacking third of the field, but there was a concerning lack of urgency from the team. Modric, as a first-team regular, shoulders much of the responsibility for letting the score stay level as long as it did.
Sanchez Adrian Murcia, Alcoyano: A-
While the Madrid players are ultimately to blame for allowing the result of the match to remain in doubt for 71 minutes, the Alcoyano shot-stopper has earned his hat tip.
Without a steady, confident performance from Murcia, the Segunda División side would have lost belief in itself near the beginning of this match. But his reliable presence between the post allowed Alcoyano to be more impressive than expected in this fixture.
Mesut Ozil, Real Madrid: B
This was likely a frustrating performance for Ozil, as he struggled to be constantly involved in the Madrid attack. This has been a disappointing campaign thus far for the crafty German midfielder after he led La Liga in assists last season.
He finally made an appearance in this match with a clever chip to Callejón for the team's second goal. But it is still clear that Ozil is searching for his form from last year.
Alcoyano Back Line: B
Both Murcia and the Alcoyano defenders deserve credit for keeping the match close and forcing Jose Mourinho to bring Angel Di Maria and Karim Benzema off the bench.
It was truly a team effort as the underdogs were able to keep players behind the ball and Madrid out of the goal for over an hour.
Madrid Substitutes: A
Alcoyano was in an unfortunate position from the start of this match. It put forth maximum effort to keep the score level, and when a tie seemed even remotely possible, Mourinho called on Di Maria and Benzema.
Just a few minutes after these Galácticos came on the pitch, they combined for a goal. They did exactly what they were tasked with, and this earns them top marks.
After winning the first leg of this Copa del Rey matchup 4-1, Madrid has unsurprisingly advanced past the fourth round of the tournament, defeating Alcoyano 7-1 on aggregate.
Madrid will take the pitch next for a La Liga showdown with second-place Atletico Madrid on Saturday, December 1, at 4 p.m. ET.
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