Villarreal 2-3 Real Madrid: Incredible comeback salvages Los Blancos’ Copa del Rey hopes
Dani Ceballos’ late goal saw Real Madrid beat Villarreal 3-2 and complete a stunning comeback in the Copa del Rey on Thursday.
Madrid were beaten 3-1 by rivals Barcelona in the Supercopa de Espana final on Sunday and found themselves two goals down at the break at Estadio de la Ceramica after goals from Etienne Capoue and Samuel Chukwueze.
But Vinicius Junior halved the deficit with a composed 57th-minute finish before Eder Militao prodded home from close range.
With the last-16 tie seemingly heading for extra time. Ceballos proved Madrid’s unlikely hero as he lashed in to keep Madrid’s hopes of winning a 20th Copa del Rey title alive.
The hosts were ahead inside four minutes, Capoue latching onto Gerard Moreno’s clever flick before powerfully firing past Thibaut Courtois from a tight angle.
Federico Valverde and Rodrygo both failed to convert after Ferland Mendy’s good work to set them up, and Villarreal made Madrid pay when Moreno dinked a delightful throughball into Chukwueze, who made no mistake.
Vinicius hauled Madrid back into it after some slick interplay put the Brazil international in on goal, and parity was restored 12 minutes later.
Filip Jorgensen palmed Karim Benzema’s header straight to Militao, and he duly tapped in.
Carlo Ancelotti’s team would not let their momentum slide, and had their winner when Ceballos calmly placed the ball past the diving Jorgensen with four minutes left to play.