Football: Rodriguez Caps Perfect Year For Zidane's Real
Muhammad Rameez 4 years ago Thu 05th January 2017 | 11:05 AM
MADRID, Jan 5, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 05th Jan, 2017 ) - Zinedine Zidane celebrated a spectacular first year in charge of Real Madrid as James Rodriguez scored twice to set the European champions firmly on course for the Copa del Rey quarter-finals with a 3-0 last 16, first leg win over Sevilla.
Not even the absence of the rested Cristiano Ronaldo could halt Real's now 38-game unbeaten run as Rodriguez took full advantage of a rare start by blasting home the opener from outside the box after just 10 minutes.
Raphael Varane headed home a second and Rodriguez added Real's third from the penalty spot before half-time. The margin of Real's win will be of particular comfort to Zidane with next week's second leg (January 12) now appearing a formality amidst a hectic schedule that could see Real play 21 times in 11 weeks.
Madrid started a second consecutive home game without any of their first-choice front three as Karim Benzema was left on the bench, Ronaldo rested altogether and Gareth Bale still sidelined by a long-term ankle injury.
However, having enjoyed a rare 17-day break since their last outing in winning the Club World Cup against Japanese champions Kashima Antlers, Real started brightly. Rodriguez claimed after being overlooked once more during the Club World Cup that he would consider his future in January, but made the most of a rare start with a spectacular opener after just 10 minutes.