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Numancia v Real Madrid Live Commentary, 04/01/2018

FT
0 - 3
NUM
RMA
G. Bale (35 pen)
Isco (89 pen)
Borja Mayoral (90+1)
Nuevo Estadio Los Pajaritos

Commentary

Numancia kept themselves in the game right to the very end, despite Madrid's one-man advantage, but they couldn't quite hold on long enough and now look as if they're set to crash out of the Copa del Rey. Vazquez earned his side their second penalty of the night before Isco converted it, and Mayoral then got himself on the scoresheet to all but confirm Madrid's spot in the quarter-finals of the competition.
FULL-TIME: NUMANCIA 0-3 REAL MADRID
M. Kovačić
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
90' + 3' Madrid are presented with a late free-kick, but they can't make it count and Numancia hit them on a counter-attack of their own. They then win themselves a free-kick near to the halfway line, but Kovacic cynically kicks the ball away before it can be taken, earning him a late booking.
A. Hakimi
Assist
Real Madrid
90' + 1' That certainly was a wonderful cross from Achraf, who perfectly picked out Mayoral in front of goal. Numancia defended poorly, however, and they really should have done better while trying to deal with the striker.
Borja Mayoral
Goal
Real Madrid
90' + 1' GOAL! It's another for Madrid! The visitors knock the ball around patiently before Achraf whips a lovely cross into the Numancia penalty area. Mayoral drifts away from his marker and latches onto the ball all alone at the far post, where he's easily able to beat Munir with a downward header from close range.
90' The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time.
Isco
Penalty Goal
Real Madrid
89' GOAL! Isco steps up and is easily able to blast a brilliantly taken penalty straight into the top left-hand corner of the net. That should be that for Madrid.
Marc Mateu
Yellow Card
Numancia
88' Yellow card Marc Mateu Sanjuán
Carlos Gutiérrez
Yellow Card
Numancia
88' PENALTY! A Numancia free-kick  fails to result in a chance on goal, and Madrid are immediately able to counter-attack. Kovacic does brilliantly as he charges through the middle of the pitch and towards the hosts' box, where he sets up Vazquez to force Gutierrez into tripping him to the ground with a poorly timed last-ditch challenge.
86' Isco tries to test Munir once again after getting himself into a good position just outside of the Numancia box, but his thumping strike is poorly hit and the goalkeeper is able to watch it fly comfortably behind.
A. Hakimi
Asensio
Real Madrid
85' Madrid have made a late change, and it's a defensive one, with Achraf Hakimi coming on to take the place of Asensio.
84' Chance for Isco! The midfielder does really well to skip away from his marker before playing a quick one-two with Asensio just inside the hosts' penalty area. He then unleashes a shot, but his fierce effort fails to hit the target and sails just wide.
Unai Medina
Yellow Card
Numancia
82' The referee reaches for his yellow card once again, and this time it's Medina who enters his book for a slightly late challenge.
81' Numancia may be a man down but they're showing great grit and determination as they keep battling for a way back into the game. They're continuing to cause problems for Madrid when they're on the front foot, with Nieto making a real nuisance of himself in and around the penalty area.
79' Nieto is caught by Kovacic once again, and Numancia are presented with another opportunity to launch a free-kick into the Madrid penalty area. It's whipped in by Perez and almost finds Gutierrez, but the ball sails just a yard or so past the defender's head.
77' Perez hits the crossbar! Kovacic is sloppy in possession and cheaply gives the ball away on the halfway line. Perez immediately looks up, spots Casilla off his line and tries to beat the goalkeeper from long range, but his absolutely excellent effort ends up smashing the woodwork after looping over Casilla's head. What a goal that would have been!
75' Theo and Nieto both battle for the ball as they try to regain possession for their respective sides, but it's the former who wins the free-kick after being caught by a tangle of legs. The set-piece is sent short and worked into the middle of the pitch, where Madrid quickly lose the ball under pressure.
Isco
Dani Ceballos
Real Madrid
74' Ceballas receives a rousing round of applause from the visiting fans as he's replaced by Isco in Madrid's second substitution of the night.
73' Ceballos cuts inside from the left flank and tries to poke a pass into the Numancia penalty area. The hosts' defenders step off the midfielder and allow him to get a shot away instead, but his low effort is fired straight into the hands of Munir.
72' Vazquez sprints into the right-hand side of the hosts' box and looks set to shoot, but he's closed down well and has to settle for a corner instead. The set-piece is sent short and worked over to Kovacic, who tries to cut a pass back to Mayoral in front of goal but can't stop the ball from running out for a goal-kick.
70' Perez is bundled over by Kovacic as he heads towards the Madrid penalty area, resulting in a free-kick for the home side in a very promising position 25 yards away from goal. It's Perez who steps up and shoots, but his effort fails to find its way over the wall.
68' And now Higinio goes close! Nieto twists and turns over on the right flank before swinging a beautiful cross over to the far post. Higinio rises high and beats Carvajal in the air, but he can only hit the side-netting with his downward header.
67' Almost a chance for Vazquez! Madrid counter-attack quickly through Ceballos, who darts forward before setting up Asensio to lift a lovely cross into the heart of the box. It looks set to find Vazquez in front of goal, but, despite his best efforts, he can't quite reach the ball with his head.
65' It's all Madrid at the moment as they try to grab themselves a second goal that, even at this stage of the game, would all but wrap up the win for them. Numancia are playing in a 4-4-1 formation, putting a lot of pressure on lone striker Higinio.
Iñigo Pérez
Grego Sierra
Numancia
63' Numancia have made their third and final switch, with Sierra making way for Inigo Perez.
62' Another lofted pass is sent deep into the Numancia half of the pitch and picks out Mayoral in a promising position. This time the striker is able to get a shot away, but his thumping effort is too powerful and fails to hit the target.
M. Kovačić
G. Bale
Real Madrid
61' Madrid have made their first alteration of the night, with Mateo Kovacic coming on to replace Bale.
P. Diamanka
Yellow 2nd/RC
Numancia
60' RED CARD! Diamanka flies into Nacho and catches the centre-back with a wild challenge, stamping on the Madrid defender with his studs showing. It leaves the referee with no choice but to show him a second yellow card, much to the annoyance of the Senegalese's manager.
Vallejo
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
59' Theo twists and turns over on the left flank once again as he tries to cause more problems for the Numancia back line, but he isn't able to get a cross into the penalty area this time and the home side quickly counter-attack. The move doesn't last for long, however, as Diamanka is clumsily fouled by Jesus Vallejo, who earns himself a yellow card.
57' Theo is left in acres of space over on the left wing, presenting him with all the time in the world to swing a cross into the box. He does so and manages to find Mayoral, but the striker can't sort his feet out quickly enough and fails to get a shot away from close range.
55' Madrid quickly push forward once again and look set to carve out another chance on goal, but Mayoral can't quite squeeze his way into the hosts' penalty area as has the ball poked away from him by the outstretched leg of Gutierrez.
53' A lovely lofted pass from Ceballos is fired over to the right-hand side of the Numancia box and picks out Carvajal in a promising position. The full-back knocks the ball over to Vazquez and the forward quickly shoots, but the two players get their wires crossed slightly and his strike sails high over the top of the crossbar.
Higinio Marín
Yellow Card
Numancia
51' Higinio goes down inside the penalty area, but he's booked for diving! Space opens up for the striker and allows him to cut inside from the right wing on a great run. He charges into the box before going down under a tackle from Nacho, but there was no contact whatsoever and the striker is rightly shown a yellow card.
50' Numancia are able to earn themselves a corner of their own after good play over on the left flank, but Nieto's low cross towards the near post is poorly hit and easily cleared by the visitors.
48' Chance for Nacho! Madrid immediately go on the front foot and manage to earn themselves an early corner over on the right wing. It's curled into the heart of the box and picks out Nacho, who tries to get a shot away from close range but ends up missing the ball before fouling Gutierrez.
Marc Mateu
Luis Valcarce
Numancia
46' Numancia have decided to make a change during the half-time break, with Valcarce, who only came on earlier in the first half, making way for Marc Mateu.
46' We're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half.
A largely second-string Madrid side haven't been at their best this evening, but they nonetheless lead as the two teams head into the half-time break. They've enjoyed a few moments of brightness inside the final third and were fired into the lead through Bale, who marked a rare start by coolly converting from the penalty spot.  Numancia have impressed on a few occasions themselves, though, and they'll no doubt be feeling confident about their chances of getting back into the game if they keep up this intensity.
HALF-TIME: NUMANCIA 0-1 REAL MADRID
45' + 1' Nieto embarks on a great run as he tries to reach the Madrid penalty area, but he's fouled by Llorente before he can do so and wins a free-kick for Numancia instead. It's the attacking midfielder who swings a cross into the box and over to the far post, where Milla's header is too strong and fails to hit the target.
45' The fourth official has indicated that there will be just one minute of added time.
43' A lofted pass is fired deep into the Madrid half of the pitch and manages to pick out Higinio deep down the left flank, but, after initially doing well while taking on Carvajal, he can't quite find a way past the defender and ends up running the ball out for a goal-kick.
41' Valcarce does well to get himself into a pocket of space over on the left wing before swinging a cross into the Madrid box, where it's deflected behind for a corner. Once again, the set-piece causes problems for the visitors, allowing Diamanke to get a header away from 10 yards out. He's off balance, though, and his looping effort fails to test Casilla.
39' Asensio goes close! The free-kick is taken quickly and sent short before being worked over to Asensio, who shoots from 25 yards out and fires a thumping strike just a yard or so wide of the near post.
Pablo Larrea
Yellow Card
Numancia
38' Bale easily gets the better of Larrea as he cuts inside from out wide and darts towards the Numancia box, and he's caught by a poor challenge from the Numancia midfielder that results in the referee reaching for his yellow card once again.
37' Madrid are quickly able to win the ball back from restart before piling plenty of bodies forward in search of a second goal, but they can't quite carve out a chance for themselves over on the left flank and end up running the ball out for a goal-kick.
P. Diamanka
Yellow Card
Numancia
35' Grego Sierra has a little bit too much to say for himself as he argues with the referee about the decision, and he's eventually shown a yellow card for dissent.
G. Bale
Penalty Goal
Real Madrid
35' GOAL! Bale steps up and calmly slots the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of the net after sending Munir diving the wrong way. That's his first goal on Spanish soil since September.
34' PENALTY! Madrid quickly come back again through a lofted pass that's fired up towards Mayoral. The striker meets it well and immediately tees up Vazquez, who darts into the box and is brought down by a truly terribly timed challenge from Carlos Gonzalez, leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot.
33' Asensio and Vazquez link up nicely midway inside the Numancia half of the pitch, and it looks as if it's going to result in a chance on goal for the visitors. It doesn't, though, as Vazquez's pass over to Ceballos is poorly hit and rolls straight out of play.
31' Dani Nieto goes down inside the Madrid box, but nothing is given! Numancia are presented with a rare opportunity to push forward and launch a cross into the penalty area, where Nieto darts towards the ball and tangles with Theo. He immediately screams for a penalty, but the referee isn't at all interested and waves play on.
30' Golden opportunity for Mayoral! Madrid's high pressing causes problems for the home side once again, resulting in another free-kick in a dangerous area of the pitch. Asensio's cross is a beautiful one and perfectly picks out Mayoral at the far post, but the striker isn't expecting the ball and ends up shinning it over the crossbar.
28' After enjoying a promising start to the game, Numancia now find themselves firmly on the back foot as they try to keep at bay their determined opponents. Madrid are bossing possession and starting to look much more dangerous inside the final third of the pitch.
26' Vazquez cuts inside quickly and gets the better of Pablo Larrea before being cynically dragged back by the former Villarreal midfielder, resulting in a free-kick for Madrid in a promising position. It's sent short to Marcos Llorente, who then quickly shoots, but the Numancia defenders deal with the danger well and are easily able to throw their bodies in the way of the effort.
24' Bale pops up in a more central position and immediately tries to play a quick one-two with Asensio just outside of the hosts' box. It looks as if he's about to receive the ball back and take on Munir, but Milla is just about able to stick out a foot and deny the Welshman a chance on goal.
22' A lofted pass is fired over to the right flank, where it finds Dani Ceballos in a pocket of space deep down the wing. The midfielder controls the ball well and whips it into the Numancia penalty area, but his cross is overhit and fails to find a team-mate before bouncing out for a throw-in.
Luis Valcarce
Ripa
Numancia
20' Adrian Ripa has been struggling with an injury since the early stages of the game, and he's eventually forced off to be replaced by Luis Valcarce.
19' More determined play from Madrid results in a chance on goal for Vazquez, who is left all alone over on the left wing and easily manages to dart into the box. He then unleashes a toe-poked strike from close range instead of passing, and it's a poor one that can only find the side-netting.
17' Almost an opportunity for Marco Asensio! Great play by Bale over on the right wing ends with the Welshman lifting a lovely chipped pass over the Madrid back line and into the penalty area. Asensio runs towards it and looks set to take on Munir, but he can't quite get a toe on the pass, despite his best efforts.
15' It's been a good start to the game from Numancia, who have arguably looked the more dangerous of the two sides. Madrid haven't caused their opponents too many problems inside the final third of the pitch, where their front line looks to be lacking understanding.
13' And now Higinio goes close! A poor thrown clearance from Casilla can only find a red shirt, allowing Numancia to push forward once again. Higinio easily out-muscles Theo Hernandez as he bursts into the box and shoots, and his low effort ends up rolling just wide of the far post after getting the better of Casilla.
12' Great chance for Diamanka! The resulting set-piece is curled towards the near post and manages to find the Senegalese midfielder in a promising position, but his first-time effort is blocked and sent behind before it can test Kiko Casilla.
11' Higinio makes a nuisance of himself once again after popping up on the left flank. He then cuts inside and pokes a clever pass through to Milla, who tries to get a shot away at the near post but has to settle for a corner after being quickly closed down.
9' Higinio does really well to out-muscle Nacho on the edge of the Madrid penalty area as he charges his way into a pocket of space inside the box. He then tries to chip the ball over to a team-mate, but he loses out before he's able to do so and can't quite set up Milla.
7' Madrid keep dominating possession early on and do well to win themselves a free-kick in a promising position 30 yards away from goal, but Gareth Bale isn't able to beat the wall camped in front of him and his thumping strike is deflected away from danger.
5' An attempted Madrid attacking move fails to result in a chance on goal, allowing Numancia to counter-attack down the left wing. Pere Milla charges deep into the visitors' half of the pitch before setting up Higinio Marin, who then tries to back-heel the ball over to Pape Maly Diamanka but can't quite find the onrushing Senegalese.
3' After an even start to the game, it's Madrid who push forward on the first attack of the night. Lucas Vazquez quickly cuts inside from the left wing and tries to play a one-two with Borja Mayoral on the edge of the penalty area. He's unable to do so, though, as the striker's pass back to him is mishit and can only find a red shirt.
1' We're off! Numancia get us underway, attacking from right to left.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has made 10 alterations to the team that featured in their last outing, with the vast majority of his most experienced players being rested. There is a place in the starting 11 for Gareth Bale, however, while Dani Carvajal, who is currently suspended in LaLiga, remains at right-back.
Jagoba Arrasate has decided to make eight changes to the Numancia side that beat Sevilla II in their last game before the winter break, with only Carlos Gutierrez, Adrian Ripa and Dani Nieto retaining their places in a heavily altered line-up.
Real Madrid substitutes: Navas, Tejero, Achraf, Varane, Casemiro, Kovacic, Isco.
Real Madrid XI (4-2-3-1): Casilla; Carvajal, Vallejo, Nacho, Theo; Llorente, Ceballos; Vazquez, Asensio, Bale; Mayoral.
Numancia substitutes: Perez, Del Moral, Nacho, Fernandez, Valcarce, Etxeberria, Mateu.
Numancia XI (4-2-3-1): Munir; Medina, Calvo, Gutierrez, Ripa; Larrea, Sierra; Nieto, Diamanka, Milla; Marin.
There’s just under 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this evening…
Numancia are certainly one of the stronger second division sides, as is evident by their current standing in the table. The club from the north-west, who last featured in the top tier nine years ago, are deeply embedded inside the promotion play-off zone thanks to a great first half of the season, and they head into tonight’s big clash unbeaten in their last five games.
Zidane’s ability to rotate his squad and continue to pick up positive results was one of the keys to Madrid’s success last season, but they’ve struggled to produce similar performances this campaign and have struggled against several smaller sides. Real Betis and Girona have both beaten them, while the likes of Malaga, Getafe and Levante all made a nuisance of themselves when taking on the reigning LaLiga champions.
Numancia arguably offer a good opportunity for Zinedine Zidane’s men to return to winning ways ahead of Sunday’s trip to Celta Vigo, but the Madrid boss will be well aware that complacency almost cost his side in the last round of the Copa del Rey. After winning 2-0 away from home in the first leg, Los Blancos had to settle for a 2-2 draw against minnows Fuenlabrada at the Bernabeu due to a sluggish display, hinting at a possible opportunity for Numancia if they’re at their best tonight.
Tonight’s game sees Madrid return to action after almost two weeks off, and they’ll certainly be hoping they’re able to start 2018 in better fashion than they ended 2017. Their final game of the year saw them lose heavily at home to Barcelona, all but handing the title to their bitter rivals and further confirming their desperate need for a reboot to help get their season back on track.
Good evening and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Copa del Rey last-16 tie between Numancia and Real Madrid at the Nuevo Estadio Los Pajaritos.