Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole
's live commentary of the second leg of the last-32 Copa del Rey
clash between Real Madrid
. Los Blancos ran out 4-0 winners in the first leg at the end of October, and therefore only a miracle will prevent the European champions from progressing to the next round of the competition. Stay tuned for live coverage of the action.
The first leg, which finished 4-0 to Real Madrid, was the first time that these two teams had locked horns in any competition. For the most part, Melilla gave a very good account of themselves in the first leg, but Real Madrid scored twice in each half to secure a four-goal advantage.
Right, let's have a look at the team news. We are still waiting for Melilla to confirm their XI, but the Real Madrid side is in. As expected, head coach Santiago Solari has made a number of changes.
Scrap that, the Melilla team has just been released...
REAL MADRID: Navas; Carvajal, Vallejo, Sanchez, Odriozola; Llorente, Valverde, Isco; Asensio, Mariano, Vinicius
MELILLA: Luis; Romero, Mahanan, Richi, Jilmar; Ruano, Ortega, Menudo, Oscar Garcia; Yacine, Mizzian
Head coach Solari has rung the changes from the clash with Valencia at the weekend. Nacho and Casemiro are both still absent, but Alvaro Odriozola has passed a late fitness test to be involved. Keylor Navas replaces Thibaut Courtois between the sticks, while Javi Sanchez and Jesus Vallejo both start at the back. There is also a midfield spot for Federico Valverde, while Marcos Llorente and Isco are also selected. Karim Benzema played and scored in the first leg against Melilla, but Mariano Diaz gets the nod for this match, with Vinicius Junior, and Marco Asensio also coming into the starting XI.
As for Melilla, Mohamed Mahanan captains the team from central defence, while there are also starts for Jilmar Torres, Oscar Garcia and Mohamed Mizzian, who is just 18 years of age. Former Paris Saint-Germain forward Yacine Qasmi is the club's leading scorer this season with 10 goals, and the 27-year-old will be tasked with finding the back of the net against Los Blancos.
Solari has won six of his seven matches in charge of Real Madrid, the last of which was a 2-0 success at home to Valencia in La Liga. The result moved Los Blancos to within three points of the top of the table, although that is back to six with Barcelona triumphing on Sunday night.
The only blemish on Solari's record was a 3-0 defeat away to Eibar on November 11. The capital giants bounced back from that result, however, by winning 2-0 at Roma in the Champions League last week before overcoming Valencia on Saturday night.
It has been a strange season for Los Blancos, but it could still be a very successful one. They head off later this month to compete in the Club World Cup once again and, in truth, have four kind matches to play before then. Indeed, following this game they will travel to La Liga's basement side Huesca at the weekend, before hosting Russian outfit CSKA Moscow in the Champions League next week having already qualified for the next round as group winners.
Real Madrid will then host Rayo Vallecano in La Liga on December 15 before heading out to the United Arab Emirates. Solari will be able to keep his players fresh over the next few weeks with the art of rotation, and the poor start to the season would be forgotten with a positive end to 2018.
The Copa del Rey is a competition that Real Madrid have won on 19 occasions, although they have not triumphed since 2014. Barcelona have utterly dominated this tournament in recent years, but this perhaps might represent Real's best chance of silverware this season. Indeed, it is very difficult to imagine the capital giants winning a fourth straight Champions League crown.
Los Blancos were shocked at the Bernabeu during last year's competition though as they suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Leganes in the second leg of their quarter-final to exit. This is a new and fairly vulnerable Real Madrid, but they will have no problems progressing here.
Melilla operate in the third tier of Spanish football, but the city of Melilla is one of two Spanish enclaves on the African continent, meaning that Real Madrid had to travel over the Mediterranean Sea for the first leg in October. Today will be the end of their Copa del Rey journey this season, but there is no question that the players will relish the opportunity to play at the Bernabeu.
Melilla have competed at Segunda B level since the 1987-88 campaign, when they were promoted from the fourth tier. They have finished sixth and fifth in their last two seasons in the Segunda B, but are going very well this term as they look to earn promotion to the Segunda Division for the first time. It would be some achievement if they managed to reach that level.
Indeed, Sunday's 1-0 win over Sanluqueno was their fifth straight league success. All five of those victories have arrived since the defeat to Real Madrid, and that run of form has left them top of Group 4 of the Segunda B on 36 points, five points clear of second position.
Eleven wins, three draws and just one defeat – that is how the team has performed in the league this season, and they are a huge nine points clear of third-placed Cartagena. This is a huge game in their history, but perhaps more important is their home match with Villanovense in the league at the weekend. Promotion to the second tier would be an excellent achievement.
Unlike Real Madrid, Melilla's Copa del Rey journey for the 2018-19 campaign started on September 5. Indeed, they had to overcome Yeclano, Tudelano and Ontinyent to reach the round of 32, and they have never been past this stage of the competition.
For the most part, Melilla gave a very good account of themselves in the first leg, but Real Madrid scored twice in each half to secure a four-goal advantage. Benzema, Asensio, Odriozola and Cristo Gonzalez were on the scoresheet, and two of those start here.
PREDICTION! It will be a fantastic occasion for Melilla, but Real Madrid will be far too strong on the afternoon. We fancy another 4-0 success, which would mean 8-0 on aggregate.
A reminder of the two teams and formations for this game...
REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Navas; Carvajal, Vallejo, Sanchez, Odriozola; Llorente, Valverde, Isco; Asensio, Mariano, Vinicius
MELILLA (4-4-2): Luis; Romero, Mahanan, Richi, Jilmar; Ruano, Ortega, Menudo, Oscar Garcia; Yacine, Mizzian
The Copa del Rey is a competition that Real Madrid have won on 19 occasions, although they have not triumphed since 2014. It might well represent their best chance of silverware this season when considering their struggles in La Liga. It is also difficult to imagine the club landing a fourth straight Champions League crown, but nothing is impossible.
Here we go then; both sets of players have joined us on the pitch ahead of kickoff at the Bernabeu. Let's hope for an open and entertaining game of football. It is pretty much a free match for both sides to be honest so that should contribute to a good afternoon of action.
KICKOFF: The visitors kick things off at the Bernabeu...
CLOSE! ... the first half-chance of the match falls to the visitors as Garcia meets a cross from the right, but his header is wide of the post. Qasmi then fires over the crossbar from outside the box.
Not a full house inside the stadium, which is to be expected, but there is a decent atmosphere. There is a nice feel about the match as well, with Melilla committing plenty forward early on.
Vinicius has a shot deflected wide of the post as Real Madrid put their first attack together. The resulting corner is then delivered into a dangerous area, but the away side clear their lines.
Carvajal has been in the wars this season and the defender has just crashed into his own post, but should be fine to continue. Melilla are really pressing players forward here.
Melilla continue to play good football here as they move the ball from side to side. Mariano has almost broken away from the away side's defence on a couple of occasions, meanwhile.
Not an awful lot for the Real Madrid fans to get excited about in the first 10 minutes.
PENALTY APPEAL! Vinicius goes down inside the Melilla box after collecting a smart pass from Isco, but the referee is not interested. I have certainly seen them given but it would have been soft.
SAVE! Navas has to save a low effort from Garcia, who had met a strike from Torres!
SAVE! Super save from Moreno to keep out Isco down the other end!
I had hoped that this would be an open game full of attacking football, and that has indeed been the case in the first 15 minutes. Both teams are trying to get their name on the scoresheet.
CLOSE! Garcia just misses the crossbar with another strike from outside the Real Madrid box!
CLOSE! Valverde just misses the Melilla post with a long-range strike!
Good goalkeeping from Moreno to collect a loose ball inside his own box. Melilla go straight down the other end with Mizzian, and Navas has to leave his penalty box to clear the danger.
SAVE! Super save from Moreno to keep out a strike from Vinicius!
Just a few signs that Real Madrid are starting to gain control of this football match.
There will come a time in this match where the away side just start to tire. But for now, they are having a brilliant time. If this was a boxing match then Melilla would be ahead at this moment.
CHANCE! Incredible chance for Real Madrid as Vinicius delivers a low cross into Mariano, but somehow Mahanan makes a wonderful last-ditch challenge. Incredible tackle there!
Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining, and are still goalless.
It is not too difficult to see why Melilla are going so well in their own league. They have more than matched Real Madrid thus far. A second-string Real Madrid, but still Real Madrid.
CHANCE! Wow! Vincius somehow smashes the ball over the crossbar when it looked easier to score. Big miss from the Brazilian as he fires over from inside the penalty box.
GOAL! REAL MADRID 1-0 MELILLA (ASENSIO)
Real Madrid make the breakthrough in the 33rd minute as Asensio drives into the Melilla box before finding the bottom corner with a super finish. Easy as you like from Asensio!
GOAL! REAL MADRID 2-0 MELILLA (ASENSIO)
And just like that, it is 2-0. Asensio has his second of the match as the Spaniard smashes a low Vinicius cross into the back of the net. Excellent work from Vinicius there.
GOAL! REAL MADRID 3-0 MELILLA (SANCHEZ)
Real Madrid have their third of the match as Javi Sanchez expertly turns a long Asensio pass over Moreno and into the back of the net. Excellent finish from the centre-back.
Melilla are all over the place at the moment. Oh how things can change.
Real Madrid are 7-0 ahead on aggregate. Probably tie over. Melilla are in trouble once again as Real Madrid have a free kick just outside the box with Mahanan bundling over Vinicius...
... Asensio's free kick is wide of the post.
We are into the first and only minute of additional time here.
HALF TIME: REAL MADRID 3-0 MELILLA
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Real Madrid leading Melilla 3-0 courtesy of a brace from Asensio and smart finish from Javi Sanchez. Melilla played very well for the first 30 minutes, but fell apart in the last 15 minutes of the first period.
STATISTICS! Melilla had 44% of the ball in the first period, and managed six attempts, although just one of those was on target. Real Madrid, meanwhile, hit the target with five of their 17 attempts in the first period. No yellow cards to report at the Bernabeu here.
BENCH WATCH! Melilla boss Carrion has the likes of Brahim, Chakla and Otegui on his bench this afternoon. Meanwhile, Solari has options in the shape of Ceballos, Lucas and Cristo Gonzalez. I should imagine we will see both managers made three changes in the second half.
KICKOFF: Real Madrid resume the action here...
... MELILLA SUB! Otegui has replaced Mizzian.
REAL MADRID SUB! Garcia and Ceballos replace Carvajal and Llorente.
GOAL! REAL MADRID 4-0 MELILLA (ISCO)
Real Madrid have their fourth of the match as Isco finds the top corner with a wonderful strike from outside the box. Magical effort from the Spaniard there!
All Real Madrid here as they continue to move the ball in the final third of the field.
SHOT! Vinicus cuts inside before releasing a shot, but his effort was always too high.
Real Madrid continue to threaten with a couple of corners in quick succession, but Melilla manage to clear their lines, before Vinicius over-runs the ball in a wide position.
MELILLA SUB! Brahim replaces Ruano for the away side.
MELILLA SUB! Martin replaces Menudo for the away side.
SHOT! Valverde's strike from distance misses the Melilla post.
SAVE! Smart save from Moreno to keep out a strike from Vinicius.
Not too much from the away side in this second period, with Real Madrid very much in control of the match. Garcia wants a penalty inside the Melilla box, but the referee says no.
Not too much happening at the moment as we head for the final 20 minutes of football.
Solari has one more sub if he wishes, and it will be interesting to see who is introduced.
CHANCE! Asensio breaks into a wide position before delivering low into Vallejo, but Mahanan is on hand to make another smart clearance. So close to being 5-0 there.
Both teams are having spells of the ball, but not too much is happening in terms of chances.
GOAL! REAL MADRID 5-0 MELILLA (VINICIUS)
Real Madrid have their fifth of the match as Vinicius dances past a number of challenges before firing home at the second time of asking having initially been denied by Moreno!
SAVE! Wonderful save from Navas to keep out a long-range strike from Martin!
REAL MADRID SUB! Fidalgo replaces Vinicius here.
PENALTY! Melilla have a spot kick as Sanchez brings Qasmi to the deck!
GOAL! REAL MADRID 5-1 MELILLA (QASMI, PEN)
Melilla are on the scoresheet as Qasmi smashes past Navas!
GOAL! REAL MADRID 6-1 MELILLA (ISCO)
Number six for Real Madrid as Isco collects a clever pass from Garcia before finding the back of the net with an excellent finish. Seven goals at the Bernabeu this afternoon.
Both teams are committing players forward at the moment as they chase more goals here.
Not long left in this match, and the fans have certainly had their money's worth here.
We will shortly be into additional time at the end of the match.
We have played almost one of the two additional minutes at the Bernabeu.
FULL TIME: REAL MADRID 6-1 MELILLA
So there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Real Madrid running out 6-1 winners over Melilla to record a 10-1 aggregate success in the Copa del Rey round of 32. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again!