Breaking down Real Madrid's Copa del Rey victory against CD Numancia
Real Madrid came into the second-leg of the tie with a 3-0 lead against Numancia but were widely expected to come out with a convincing performance in order to at least keep their critics away for a little while.
Starting lineup in the second leg:
Zinedine Zidane made ten changes to the starting squad that played against Celta de Vigo over the weekend as he decided to give a few big names some rest. The starting eleven consisted of:
Kiko Casilla, Dani Carvajal, Jesus Vallejo, Nacho Fernandez [C], Theo Hernandez, Marcos Llorente, Mateo Kovacic, Dani Ceballos, Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez, Borja Mayoral
Real Madrid –
Lucas Vazquez (11?)
Lucas Vazquez (59?)
Guillermo Fernandez (45?)
Guillermo Fernandez (82?)
Castilla, where are you?
Real Madrid went into the tie with a 3-0 lead and anyone would be extremely bold to bet against Los Merengues being knocked out in the second leg. Even though Zidane came out with a ‘weaker’ starting eleven, none of them were from the Real Madrid Castilla side.
He called Alvaro Tejero and Oscar up for the game but not only did neither player start, they did not even come off the bench!
This was a wasted opportunity to give Castilla players a chance to display their skills with the first team and you can’t be blamed for thinking that he may have done that, because he really wanted a win under his belt after past results.
Of course, as the evening dragged on, the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
Easily the best player on the pitch in both legs against Numancia, Lucas Vazquez ended the first-leg of the tie with no goals but won both penalties and ended the second-leg with two goals to his name. A very good night for the Spanish winger, who continues to show us all why Zinedine Zidane trusts in him so much.
Another game and another solid display from Dani Ceballos as he continues to show us all that he truly deserves a place in this team. Unfortunately, we probably won’t be seeing too much of the Spanish midfielder during the second half of the season as Zidane simply does not trust him enough.
We may see him during the final 10-20 minutes of a match but that’s about it, unless the French manager has some massive change of heart. Also, talks of Ceballos leaving to Liverpool are intensifying and I wouldn’t be surprised if we add “idiotic decisions” to our list of mishaps this season by letting the player move on.
Marcos Llorente and Theo Hernandez
Both Marcos Llorente and Theo Hernandez had pretty terrible games in the first-leg against Numancia, but things slightly changed this time around. Llorente was more focused and held his position quite well throughout the match while Theo Hernandez was definitely the worse out of the two, but had a better match compared to his performance last week.
There is still a lot of improvement for both players as Llorente has not yet proven himself as a reliable backup for Carlos Casemiro while Theo Hernandez is somehow still worse than Marcelo, who has been having a terrible season himself, so far.