Real Madrid secured a 3-1 first-leg win over Cadiz in the Copa del Rey last 32, but there are doubts over whether or not Denis Cheryshev should have been on the pitch.
• Cadiz 1-3 Real Madrid
• Cheryshev scores after only three minutes
• Questions over Cheryshev's eligibility
• Isco double gives Real breathing space
• Kike Marquez grabs late goal for hosts
It took Real Madrid only three minutes to open the scoring against Cadiz in the first leg of their last-32 Copa del Rey match at Ramon de Carranza on Wednesday evening.
Making a rare start for Real, left winger Cheryshev broke the deadlock inside the first 180 seconds after he was found by James Rodriquez with a ball over the top.
It proved to be the only highlight of the first half for the visitors on the pitch, but off the field there was debate over whether or not Cheryshev should have been selected.
The Russian picked up three yellow cards in last year's Copa del Rey and regulations stipulate that results an automatic one-match ban.
Midfielder Isco then stepped up to the plate as he notched up two goals in 10 minutes to give the visitors some breathing space, but Marquez made sure the tie isn't completely over with a goal two minutes from the end.
With Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez opting to leave his attacking trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema at home, it was left to James and some fringe players to give the Spanish giants a lead in the tie.
And Colombian international James duly delivered inside the opening three minutes as his ball found Cheryshev with the Russian firing a powerful shot past goalkeeper Pol Balleste into the corner.
As soon as the Russian got on the scoresheet news emerged that he should have sat out the game as he accumulated three yellow cards, which is an automatic one-match ban, while he was on loan at Villarreal last year.
Los Blancos could find themselves in hot water with the Spanish football federation as Cadiz have until 2pm on Thursday to make an official complaint. If found guilty, then they could be thrown out of the competition, which was what happened to Osasuna earlier this season.
On the field, though, the action continued and nine minutes into the game forward Wilson Cuero was denied by Real 'keeper Kiko Casilla from point-blank range.
Although the visitors were in control, they rarely inspired going forward for the rest of the first half, which proved to be uneventful.
Less than a minute into the second half and Benitez decided to haul off Cheryshev with Mateo Kovacic his replacement, but Real had to wait until the 65th minute to finally get their second goal with Casemiro slipping in fellow midfielder Isco.
It was 3-0 less than 10 minutes later with Isco again finding the back of the net after being sent through by James.
However, Cadiz had the final say in the match, which keeps things interesting for the second leg, as a poor clearance from defender Pepe went straight to substitute Kike Marquez, who hit the half-volley past Casilla.
The return match will take place on 16 December at the Santiago Bernabeu.