Real Madrid survived an almighty scare on Tuesday as they reached the Copa del Rey last 16, despite a 2-2 draw with third-tier Fuenlabrada.
Gareth Bale assisted one Borja Mayoral goal and played a key role in another to kill off Fuenlabrada, but Madrid were made to count their lucky stars after their opponents had hit the bar and Keylor Navas pulled off two vital stops.
Zinedine Zidane once more trusted his squad players and Castilla youngsters to get the job done against the minnows, who trailed Los Blancos 2-0 from the first leg last month .
However, Fuenlabrada were still unbeaten away from home and could’ve taken an early lead, only for Matheus Barrozo to be denied one-on-one by Keylor Navas.
Nonetheless, a corner dropped to Luis Milla, who blasted home a fine effort from the edge of Madrid’s box, despite Navas getting a hand to the ball.
Franchu Feuillassier almost forced a quick-fire equaliser, but his left-footed drive was blocked by former Getafe and Atletico Madrid defender Cata Diaz, although he may have used a hand.
Madrid attempted several more snapshots before half-time but went in trailing 1-0, Franchu coming the closest as he forced Fuenlabrada goalkeeper Pol Freixanet into a low save.
Alvaro Tejero extracted another save from Freixanet after the restart, yet Fuenlabrada remarkably should’ve been out of sight.
Ismael Athuman’s near-post header was heading for the back of Navas’ net, but the Costa Rican pulled off a fingertip save to keep it out, before Diaz looped a header onto the crossbar.
Desperately in need of inspiration, Zidane threw on Bale, and the Welshman made an instant impact, perfectly picking out Mayoral with the outside of his weaker right foot, allowing the striker to head in.
Bale then followed up with a delightful flick and shot, which was saved by Freixanet, but only as far as Mayoral, the starlet going on to mop up the rebound.
On a roll, the former Tottenham Hotspur star chipped the custodian to seemingly give the hosts a 3-1 lead, but he was a yard offside.
Yet Fuenlabrada didn’t let their heads drop, and substitute Alvaro Portilla secured a memorable draw at the Bernabeu for his side after he was teed up beautifully in the box.
Real Madrid 2-2 Fuenlabrada (4-2 agg.)
Mayoral 62, 70 (RM) Milla 25, Portilla 89 (F)
Real Madrid: Keylor; Achraf, Tejero, Nacho, Theo; Ceballos, Marcos Llorente, Kovacic (Seoane 81); Franchu (Bale 62), Mayoral, Oscar (Quezada 75)
Fuenlabrada: Freixanet; Ismael, Cata Diaz, Juanma, Fran; Cristobal, Milla, Bravo (Portilla 69); Annor (Quero 79), Matheus (Dioni 61), Fraile