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Real Madrid’s James Rodríguez Leads The Way In Five-Goal Rout Of Cornella

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REAL Madrid, holders of the Copa del Rey, set up a probable last-16 match against their city rivals Atlético when a second-string side completed a crushing 9-1 aggregate win over the third-tier minnows Cornella on Tuesday.

The last-32, second-leg match at the Bernabéu pitted the world’s richest club by income, with annual revenues of more than €600m (£475m), against a club with a budget of €1m a season who were promoted to Spain’s regional Segunda B for the first time in 2013-14.

Real won the first leg, played at Espanyol’s stadium in Barcelona at the end of October, 4-1 and a James Rodríguez double, goals from Isco and Jese and an own-goal from Cornella’s Borja Lopez secured a 5-0 success in the return.

The victory, with Real’s top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo watching from the stands, extended their club-record winning streak to 17 matches stretching back to a 2-1 La Liga reverse at home to Atlético in September.

Cornella, whose part-timers include a dentist and a school teacher, could have taken a surprise lead in the 14th minute when Álvaro Arbeloa, captaining Real for the first time, felled Xavi Boniquet in the area and conceded a penalty.

Boniquet picked himself up to take the spot kick but fired wildly over the bar and Rodríguez made it 1-0 to the home side moments later.

Isco doubled Real’s lead in the 33rd minute and Rodríguez grabbed his second a minute later before Lopez put the ball into his own net in the 61st minute.

The substitute Jese, returning after knee surgery, completed the rout 13 minutes from time.

The tie was brought forward because of the European champions’ participation in the Club World Cup this month.

Due to the disruption to the La Liga calendar caused by the tournament in Morocco, Sevilla also had their first leg brought forward and they have a 6-1 lead over second-division Sabadell before Wednesday’s return in Seville.

Atlético, who are La Liga champions and beat Real 2-1 after extra time in the 2013 Cup final at the Bernabéu, play their first leg at third-tier Hospitalet on Wednesday.

The winner of a possible last-16 tie between Real and Atl̩tico would likely meet Barcelona, who have won this competition a record 26 times, in the quarter-finals. Bar̤a play at Huesca, another third-tier club, on Wednesday. РThe Guardian

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