By Okeowo Oladapo
Real Madrid extended their unbeaten run to 38 games with a 3-0 victory over Sevilla in the first leg of their last-16 Copa del Rey tie at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.
Real – who have won 29 of those 38 matches – are one short of equalling a best-ever run by a La Liga team.
James Rodriguez scored twice while Raphael Varane also headed home to put Real firmly in control with the second leg in Seville on 12 January.
Cristiano Ronaldo was rested for the game.
Real Madrid was quick out of the blocks and hounded the ball whenever they lost it. It did not take them long to break the deadlock after Casemiro dispossessed N’zonzi, and James Rodrigues curled the ball into the bottom corner.
Los Blancos players did not slow down as they kept Sevilla constantly under pressure and coming close to extending their lead. This they finally did off a Toni Kroos corner that was well-met by Raphael Varane.
The game ended as a contest when Modric was fouled in the penalty and James Rodriguez slotted in the resulting penalty.
With the lead and victory mostly assured, the second half was played at a slower pace and lower gear than the first.
The 3-0 win makes the return leg in Sevilla more a formality than a contest.