Zidane leads Real Madrid to 3-0 win on coaching anniversary

Madrid, Jan 5 (IANS) Zinedine Zidane was able to celebrate a year as coach at Real Madrid with a 3-0 win at home to Sevilla in the first leg of their last-16 King’s Cup football tie.

Without the injured Gareth Bale, the French coach took the bold step of resting stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, and his courage paid off with a convincing display on Wednesday, reports Xinhua.

Although Sevilla complained about the performance of referee Mateu Lahoz after he denied them what looked like a clear penalty for a foul on Victor Iborra by Dani Carvajal, Real Madrid led through an 11th minute goal from James Rodriguez, who needed to prove himself after a difficult few weeks.

Rafael Varene doubled their lead with a powerful header at the half-hour mark, and Rodriguez scored from the penalty spot on the stroke of halftime.

Earlier in the day, the first leg tie between second division sides Alcorcon and Cordoba ended in a 0-0 draw in a misty Alcorcon.

Meanwhile, Real Sociedad beat Villarreal 3-1 thanks to goals from Willian Jose, Carlos Vela and Mikel Oyarzabal, which had put the home side 3-0 up before Manu Trigueros’ excellent long range strike gave Villarreal some hope for the return leg.

–IANS

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