Isco, Marco Asensio Net Braces as Real Madrid Hammer Melilla in Copa del Rey

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2018

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 06:  Isco of Real Madrid (22) celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal with team mates during the Copa del Rey fourth round match between Real Madrid and Melilla at Estadio Bernabeu on December 6, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid booked their place in the last 16 of the 2018-19 Copa del Rey on Thursday after they thumped Melilla 6-1—10-1 on aggregate—at the Santiago Bernabeu.  

Marco Asensio was the star of the first period, as he netted twice and set up Javi Sanchez to put Los Blancos 3-0 up at the interval.

The onslaught continued after the break, with Isco scoring a stunning fourth with a long-range strike, and Vinicius Jr. got on the scoresheet for the first time for the club.

The minnows got one back through Yacine Qasmi's penalty, but Isco added more gloss to the scoreline soon after with his second of the day.

Madrid had ensured their spot in the next round was effectively safe in the first leg, winning 4-0 away against the third-tier side in what was Santiago Solari's first match in charge of the club.

        

Isco Deserves Faith From Solari

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 06:  Isco of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the Copa del Rey fourth round match between Real Madrid and Melilla at Estadio Bernabeu on December 6, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroy
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

When Real Madrid opted against bringing in a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer, it was anticipated that Isco would play a more significant role for the team this term. Instead, his stock has dwindled.

He's only started five times in La Liga, while in the UEFA Champions League, he's featured in the XI for two of Madrid's five group games. He has often failed to show his best, too.

Even so, there's been a faith from the supporters that the creative midfielder would come good, and they were quick to give him their backing on Thursday:

Following an improved performance, there will be many calling on Solari to do the same. 

Speculation surrounding Isco's future at the club has been rife in recent weeks, with this match the first time he has started under the new boss. According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Joe Bray of the Manchester Evening News), Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Juventus want to sign him.

The performance on Thursday was a reminder of why there is said to be so much interest. Isco has plenty to offer at this best, and he linked together Madrid's best attacks throughout against Melilla.

He then netted a trademark goal just two minutes after the break:

Solari celebrated the goal before the Spaniard netted for a second time. The manager also gave Isco the captain's armband for this fixture in the absence of Sergio Ramos.

Madridistas will hope that's a sign there's a burgeoning trust between player and coach and that this display can be a springboard for Isco to improve for the remainder of the campaign.

   

What's next?

Los Blancos will be big favourites when they next take to the field, too, as they visit La Liga's bottom side Huesca on Sunday. On the same day, Melilla are in Segunda Division B action against Villanovense.

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