Madrid - Karim Benzema struck deep into stoppage time as
Real Madrid set a new Spanish record by extending their unbeaten run to 40
games in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Sevilla to progress to the Copa del Rey
quarter-finals on Thursday.
Holding a 3-0 first leg lead, a Cristiano Ronaldo-less Real
looked set for defeat for the first time in eight months as an own goal from
Danilo and second-half strikes from Stefan Jovetic and Vicente Iborra saw
Sevilla lead 3-1 inside the final 10 minutes.
However, Sergio Ramos's penalty and substitute Benzema
salvaged Madrid's run, which now surpasses the 39-game unbeaten run set by
Barcelona last season.
Both coaches named weakened sides with one eye on Sunday's
crunch top of the table La Liga clash between the two back at the Sanchez
However, it was Sevilla who settled first as they forced
Madrid onto the back foot from the off.
Kiko Casilla had already been forced into two saves from
Sergio Escudero and Joaquin Correa before Danilo powered a header into his own
net after just 10 minutes.
In the absence of Ronaldo and Benzema, Mariano Diaz was
handed a rare start up front and nearly levelled in bizarre fashion as Sevilla
'keeper David Soria's clearance ricocheted off the striker and inches wide.
However, most of the action in the first-half came at the
other end as Casilla saved three times in quick succession from Wissam Ben
Yedder and Luciano Vietto to prevent Real falling further behind.
Toni Kroos fired inches wide just before the break, but the
vital away goal the visitors needed to kill off the tie arrived in spectacular
fashion three minutes into the second-half.
Marco Asesnio pounced on a clearance from a Sevilla corner
on the edge of his own area and ran the length of the field barely challenged
before slotting below Soria.
That left Sevilla needing an unlikely four more goals to
qualify, but they continued to pour forward as on-loan Inter Milan forward
Jovetic marked his debut by volleying home Escudero's cross six minutes later.
Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli threw on first-team regulars
Samir Nasri and Vitolo in search of more goals.
And Madrid's record run appeared to be over when Iborra
forced the ball home from close range to make it 3-1 with just 13 minutes
However, Casemiro was adjudged to have been pushed inside
the area by Matias Kranevitter five minutes later.
Against his former club, Ramos showed remarkable calm to
chip the resulting spot-kick down the middle of the goal.
And Benzema provided the final sting in the tale three
minutes into added time when he saw off two tired Sevilla challenges before
firing low past Soria to seal a 6-3 aggregate win.
Earlier, Celta Vigo and Eibar completed their progress into
the last eight having already built-up three-goal first leg leads over Valencia
and Osasuna respectively.
They will be joined by Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Alaves,
Alcorcon and Real Sociedad in Friday's draw.