Video: Melilla 0 – 4 Real Madrid [Copa del Rey] Highlights 2018/19
Santiago Solari got a win in his first game as interim Real Madrid boss, as they saw off Melilla in the Copa del Rey last-32 first leg.
Real Madrid were comfortable 4-0 winners over Melilla on Wednesday in Santiago Solari’s first match as interim head coach.
Goals from Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, Alvaro Odriozola and Cristo Gonzalez gave the European champions a Copa del Rey first-leg victory that sets them firmly on course for the last 16.
Solari, placed in temporary charge following Julen Lopetegui’s sacking on Monday, named a youthful side in the Spanish city in north Africa that included Vinicius Junior.
But it was two of the more established first-team stars that helped secure the win – just Madrid’s second in eight matches in all competitions – and restored some sense of calm to a club thrown into turmoil in the aftermath of Sunday’s 5-1 Clasico hammering at Camp Nou.
An attacking Madrid line-up that featured Benzema, Lucas Vazquez, Asensio and Vinicius was contained reasonably well by Melilla in the opening stages.
Vazquez did clip the crossbar with a fierce strike from long distance, though, and Benzema broke the deadlock 28 minutes in, tapping home after Odriozola sent in a low cross from the right.
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) October 31, 2018
The heavy rain and difficult surface made a passing approach difficult, but Vazquez was denied by a smart stop from Daniel Barrio after one fine move involving Vinicius and Asensio.
Vazquez spurned two further chances before Madrid finally got their second goal in first-half injury time, Asensio sweeping the ball into the bottom-right corner after being set up by Vinicius.
The impressive Brazilian hit the bar with a deflected effort after the break, but Odriozola made it 3-0 12 minutes from time when be smashed home from on the line after Vinicius had been denied.
Substitute Cristo added gloss to the scoreline with the last touch of the match, heading home after Odriozola worked space in the box following a corner.