Copa del Rey first leg: James Rodriguez scored twice as he made a rare start in the absence of the rested Cristiano Ronaldo.
Raphael Varne also headed home to put Real firmly in control with the second leg in Seville on 12 January.
Madrid started a second consecutive home game without any of their first-choice front three with Karim Benzema on the substitutes’ bench, Ronaldo rested and Gareth Bale sidelined with a long-term ankle injury.
Rodriguez had previously said he would consider his future in January after playing a minor role so far this season, but made the most of a rare start by scoring a spectacular long-range opener and adding his second from the penalty spot after Luca Modric was fouled by Mariano.
Real Sociedad also took a huge step towards the last eight with Willian Jose, Carlos Vela and Mikel Oyarzabal scoring in a 3-1 win over Villarreal.
Originally posted 2017-01-05 03:51:40.