Real Madrid did not make it look easy. In fact, many Madridistas had assumed they were going to lose when Elche scored off a deflection after a free kick, which was the result of a last-ditch red card from Marcelo.
But as they so often do, Los Blancos ended up finding a way to get the win, picking up all three points with two even later goals from Isco and Eden Hazard for a 2-1 win in the Copa del Rey. Unlike so many others, Real did not fall victim to a cup upset and are through to the quarterfinals, where they await their next opponent.
Here are the player ratings from Real’s victory.
GK Andriy Lunin
He could do nothing about the deflected goal but had another big save in this one, which kept Real Madrid from being eliminated.
Marcelo turned back the years with a nutmeg and had some bright moments offensively, but he had the two worst moments of the match defensively. The first was a comical play in which he went to ground and nearly gifted Elche a goal. And the second was the red card, which was the result of his own lack of pace and poor positional play. So many players are able to remain effective defenders into their 30’s despite losing speed, but Marcelo is not one of them. He is not a capable defender, nor is he really willing.
CB David Alaba
This was another game Real Madrid would not have won without David Alaba, as he has become a must-start on the level of the midfielders, Karim Benzema, and Vinicius Jr. in the outfield. He completed 94 percent of his passes at Elche, with no single pass being more important than his ball to Eden Hazard for the winning goal. His quick thinking and willingness to hit the home-run ball can make all the difference.
CB Nacho Fernandez
Nacho blocked a couple of shots and was accurate with his passing, but he did not stand out in any meaningful way against Elche. He is just here to be a veteran backup, and now that his purple patch from 2020-2021 is over, Madridistas are beginning to see that he really isn’t good enough to be a third-choice CB for this side.
RB Lucas Vazquez
After a string of positive performances to bounce back from an awful December, Lucas Vazquez slid back to his old habits with some very sloppy play offensively. I had no idea where he was trying to direct his crosses at times. Vazquez put in a lot of hard work, but he lost the ball far too often to receive a positive rating.