Madrid beat Villarreal with stunning Copa del Rey comeback
Real Madrid produced a superb comeback after two goals to beat Villarreal 3-2 on Thursday and book their place in the Spanish Cup quarter-finals.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be hoping victory will be a turning point after struggling in 2023. They were soundly beaten by rivals Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final on Sunday. Los Blancos looked set to suffer a cup elimination on Thursday, after Etienne Capoue and Samuel Chukwueze scored in the first half for the hosts. However, goals from Vinicius Junior, Eder Militao and Dani Ceballos after the break overturned the knockout round clash and sent Madrid, who last won the trophy in 2014, through.
Villarreal, who impressed by beating Madrid in La Liga earlier in January, started with flying colors, Capoue hitting home a superb strike from Gerard Moreno’s film on his way.
Quique Setien’s side had won six of their last seven games and drawn the other and they played with confidence in the first half. On the other hand, Madrid seemed chastened after their recent results and the first goal conceded.
The hosts doubled their lead at the Estadio de la Ceramica just before half-time, with Chukwueze putting the finishing touches on a fluid team movement.
Ancelotti responded by bringing in Ceballos and Marco Asensio and the changes paid instant dividends. Ceballos set up Vinicius to pull off the first back for Madrid and it put the wind in their sails.
Asensio drilled a low free-kick under the wall but Filip Jorgensen was on top as Los Blancos struggled to equalise. The Danish stopper then parried Karim Benzema’s header moments later, but Militao pounced on the rebound to equalize.
As the clock ticked towards extra time, Ceballos struck with a weak effort from the edge of the box, set up by Asensio, to complete the rescue mission.