A second-string Real Madrid flattered to deceive, as they took a slender 1-0 advantage into the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final clash with Leganes.
Kovacic misses gilt-edged chance
Llorente almost scores OG
Beauvue volley saved by Casilla
Asensio strikes at the death
Zinedine Zidane’s side struggled to create clear-cut chances at Butarque and failed to even test Nereo Champagne in the opening 45 minutes.
The woodwork came to their rescue in the second half when Marcos Llorente’s flicked header struck the crossbar from a Los Pepineros free-kick on the right, although Marco Asensio produced a clinical finish at the death to spare Real’s blushes.
? @marcoasensio10‘s super late volley secured us the win in the first leg of our Copa del Rey quarter-final tie against @CDLeganes! Here are some of the best photos from this evening’s encounter.#RMCopa | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/ThOo3aNRNP
— Real Madrid C.F.?? (@realmadriden) January 18, 2018
With a whole host of first-team players getting the night off, Los Blancos battled to get going in the outskirts of the capital.
Skipper-for-the-night Raphael Varane climbed highest to head a 23rd-minute free-kick well over the bar, while at the other end Eraso fired into the stand from 25 yards out.
The best chance of the first half fell to Mateo Kovacic on 34 minutes when he caught Ruben Perez dallying on the ball, but the midfielder failed to hit the target from 14 yards out with just Champagne to beat.
The second half was a more lively affair, with Jose Naranjo threatening 10 minutes after the restart as he cut inside from the left before shooting well over the bar from distance.
Champagne was called into action for the first time on 66 minutes when he made a routine save from Asensio, whose long-range strike took a touch on its way through to the keeper.
The hosts were inches away from opening the scoring moments later from a free-kick on the right that flicked off the head of Llorente and hit the bar, while Varane directed another header well off target from a set-piece on the right in the 69th minute.
⚽️ Asensio 89′ pic.twitter.com/yJg7vaQLlv
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) January 18, 2018
Substitute Nordin Amrabat almost made an immediate impact when he connected with a cross from the left to volley wide of the left post on 70 minutes, before Champagne was required to make a save two minutes later when Lucas Vazquez combined with Luka Modric on the right before advancing into the box.
Claudio Beauvue drew a fine save out of Kiko Casilla on 75 minutes with a volley at the back post having connected with Amrabat’s lofted cross from the left, and Gerard Gumbau lashed a long-range shot well over the target two minutes later.
Asier Garitano’s men looked to be heading for a share of the spoils before Asensio struck in the final minute. It was a good finish from the youngster, who beat Champagne at his near post with a fearsome close-range volley from Theo’s cross on the left.