Real Madrid’s first match-up in the Copa del Rey found them drawn against third division side, Cacereno, a team located in the Extremadura region of Spain — a 3 hour bus trip southwest of Madrid. Ancelotti heavily rotated his squad and included youngsters like Sergio Arribas and Nico Paz on the bench. It was the type of match that Madrid had to grind out to win, but some individual quality from Rodrygo was enough to see them through.
Full match ratings below:
Andriy Lunin—7: The Ukrainian usually gets an opportunity in the early rounds of the Copa del Rey. Saved what he needed to save and his long ball distribution was solid.
Lucas Vazquez—4: Struggled under pressure with a difficult pitch. Often lumped the ball to no one in sight. Carmelo Merenciano, Casereno’s #10, ended up being a handful for Lucas.
Nacho—8: Professional performances from the reliable Nacho. A leader in the backfield who played with a “pessimistic” attitude — sweeping any potential danger.
Eder Militao—7: Played 45 minutes and was a positive — won all of his aerial duels and had a good foray forward down the right flank.
Odriozola—3: Substituted at half-time with an apparent injury, but offered very little both in defense and attack.
Tchouameni—4: Never looked fully engaged in the match and failed to leave any impression.
Dani Ceballos—7: It was easy to tell the players that grew up playing on rough pitches or had that “street football” edge to them. Dani Ceballos was one of those players. Never daunted under pressure, despite the sloppy pitch, and his technique stood out.
Eduardo Camavinga—6.5: A poor first half where he struggled as an advanced #8, but a much improved second half when played as the defensive midfielder.
Rodrygo—8: Madrid needed a little bit of individual quality to mark the difference and Rodrygo produced it. Scored a brilliant solo effort, weaving through the Cacereno defense within the 18-yard-box before curling a shot into the net.
Eden Hazard—2: A few decent flicks here and there, but no other material impact in this match.
Marco Asensio—5.5: Overhit some of his through balls, but was one of the few in the first half that looked to turn and run at the Cacereno defense.
Rudiger—7: Solid defensive performance with the same intensity and hunger as always.
Jesus Vallejo—6: Played at left back for the injured Odriozola and managed 3 clearances and 2 completed tackles.
Fede Valverde—7: A much needed spark in the middle of midfield. Another one of those players that looked comfortable on a difficult pitch likely due to his upbringing in the game.
Alvaro Rodriguez—5: A big body up top that managed to win a few headers and occupy the Cacereno defense.
Sergio Arribas—N/A: Late substitution for Marco Asensio on the right wing.