Real Madrid completed a stunning comeback on Thursday night against Villarreal to book their place in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.
Dani Ceballos, who has been merely a fringe player under Carlo Ancelotti this season, was the hero for Los Blancos, who were 2-0 behind at half time. Etienne Capoue fired beyond Thibaut Courtois from an acute angle after just five minutes to give the Yellow Submarine the lead. Samuel Chukwueze added a second just before the break following a beautiful team goal.
Ancelotti demanded a fightback in the second half, and he certainly got one. Ceballos introduction in the 56th minute coincided with Real Madrid’s first goal of the night, with the Spanish midfielder playing in Vincius Jr, who fired home.
Just over ten minutes later, Real Madrid were back on level terms when Eder Militao forced the ball into the back of the net following a stramash, after Villarreal keeper Filip Jorgensen had saved well from Karim Benzema.
Remarkably, the comeback was complete with five minutes remaining when Ceballos rifled the ball past Jorgensen having been teed up by fellow substitute Marco Asensio. Real Madrid held on to secure their passage into the last eight of the competition.
With that win, Real Madrid win away to Villarreal for the first time since 2017, and what a way to do it. They will be in the hat for Friday’s quarterfinal draw, which takes place at 13:00CET.