Real Madrid start life after Lopetegui with a win in Africa
Santiago Solari took temporary charge as Madrid cruised past Melilla in Copa Del Rey
Real Madrid players celebrate after going 1-0 up during their Copa Del Rey win over Melilla. Photo: Jose Manuel Vida/EPA
Melilla 0 Real Madrid 4
Real Madrid began life after Julen Lopetegui with a comfortable 4-0 win at Melilla on the African coast in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey fourth round.
Madrid dispensed of the former Spain manager after a humiliating El Clasico defeat at the weekend, with Santiago Solari taking temporary charge.
Solari, who played for the club between 2000-2005, watched on as Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, Alvaro Odriozola and Cristo goals downed the Segunda B outfit, with the second leg at the Bernabeu still to come.
This was always going to be a nice way for Solari to ease into things as he begins a caretaker spell which is not expected to last much longer than two weeks as Madrid plot their next move.
Unsurprisingly they were quick to dominate their third-tier hosts and came close to opening the scoring in the 23rd minute as Lucas Vazquez saw a long-range effort tipped just over the crossbar by home goalkeeper Dani Barrio.
There was nothing Barrio could do five minutes later, though, as the visitors took the lead with a fine counter attack.
Vasquez was involved as he fed Odriozola who teed up Benzema to tuck home from close range.
It was 2-0 in first-half injury time as Asensio fired home from 12 yards after being found by Junio Vinicius.
Vinicius thundered an effort into the crossbar after the restart as Madrid continued to dominate, but they had to wait until the 79th minute to make it 3-0.
This one was not pretty as Sergio Reguilon’s effort was parried by Barrios and, after Vinicius had an effort blocked, Odriozola rammed home from a yard out.
Cristo’s goal came deep into injury time as Madrid made the win even more emphatic.
Madrid played a corner short, worked it down the right and Odriozola flighted in an inviting cross which the substitute had no problem heading home.
The second leg is not until the first week of December, but much bigger tests await Solari, beginning with a home league game with Valladolid on Saturday, which precedes a run of four away games.