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Late Benzema Strike Saves Real Madrid’s Record

Real Madrid Copa del Rey
SEVILLE, SPAIN - JANUARY 12: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring the third goal of Real Madrid CF during the Copa del Rey Round of 16 Second Leg match between Sevilla FC vs Real Madrid CF at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on January 12, 2017 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Another late Real Madrid show rescued their unbeaten record and booked their place in the Copa Del Rey quarter-final as Karim Benzema bagged an injury time equalizer in the 3-3 draw at Sevilla.

Los Blancos trailed 3-1 with just eight minutes remaining at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, with Jorge Sampaoli’s men dreaming of their own unlikely Copa del Rey comeback.

But then a clumsy shove on Casemiro allowed Sergio Ramos – back on home turf – to chip in from the penalty spot, before Karim Benzema struck even later in the day, to ensure the continuation of a streak that dates back to a Champions League last eight loss to Wolfburg last season.

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With both sides making a number of changes, Sevilla started brightly and were rewarded when Danilo inexplicably headed into his own net just 10 minutes in.

The hosts failed to add to their advantage despite enjoying plenty of chances before half-time and were punished when Asensio ran almost the entire length of the field to put the tie beyond doubt three minutes into the second-half.

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Sevilla then needed to score five, but bravely fought on with the attacking intent that has characterised their season in a bid to bring Real Madrid’s running run to an end.

And they almost did just that. Jovetic volleyed home Sergio Escudero‘s cross before captain Vicente Iborra forced the ball home from close range 13 minutes from time.

However, Ramos returned to haunt his former club with a coolly taken Panenka six minutes later to secure Real’s place in the last eight, before Benzema secured the record.

No record seems beyond Zinedine Zidane’s relentless squad at the minute as they surpassed Barca‘s MSN-inspired 39-game run without defeat last season to set a new record mark in Spanish football.

One of the few feats to have evaded Real Madrid throughout their storied history is a treble of league, Cup and Champions League.

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As well as leaving out Cristiano Ronaldo, Zidane left Luka Modric back in Madrid, whilst Sampaoli handed a rest to a series of key men including Samir Nasri, Steven N’Zonzi and Vitolo.

Real’s second visit to Andalucia in four days will be the acid test for Sevilla’s title challenge. Win again and they will be just one point adrift of the league leaders.

For Madrid, even with 20 games for the chasing pack to come at the weekend, a return to winning ways would be a huge stepping stone towards a first Liga title in five years.

The Quarter-Final draw for the Copa Del Rey was made on Friday morning:

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