Madrid unbeaten in 40 matches, advance to Copa quarters

Madrid, Jan 13 (IANS) Real Madrid claimed its spot in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals with a 3-3 draw against Sevilla that brought the Blancos’ unbeaten streak to 40, tying the record set in 1978 by England’s Nottingham Forest.

With a 3-0 win in last week’s first leg at the Bernabeu, La Liga-leading Real Madrid were the favourite going into the second leg in Seville on Thursday, reports Efe.

Both coaches were clearly looking ahead to next Sunday’s La Liga match between the two clubs, who are separated by only four points in the top flight.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane opted to rest six starters, including Cristiano Ronaldo and goalkeeper Keylor Navas, while Jorge Sampaoli left Sergio Rico and Samir Nasri, among others, on the bench.

Danilo put the Blancos down 1-0 with an own goal in the first half, inadvertently heading a Pablo Sarabia cross into the Real Madrid net.

The visitors pulled level in the second half on a magnificent goal from Marco Asensio, but an energized Sevilla side surged ahead 3-1 with goals from newcomer Stevan Jovetic and Vicente Iborra.

Sergio Ramos converted a penalty to bring the Blancos within one and Karim Benzema scored in stoppage time to give the Madrid club a share of the record for consecutive matches without a loss.

Celta, who pounded Valencia 4-1 at the Mestalla in the first leg, won 2-1 to advance to the quarterfinals, while Eibar, with a 3-0 lead after the first leg, was content to settle for a goalless draw in the second leg against Osasuna.

–IANS

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