On Thursday , Sergio Ramos scored twice to put Real Madrid on the brink of the Copa del Rey semi-finals as they came from behind to beat Girona 4-2 in a adventuring first leg. Ramos' chipped penalty gave Madrid a 2-1 half-time lead at the Santiago Bernabeu after Lucas Vazquez had cancelled out Anthony Lozano's early strike.
However, Girona, came again, Alex Granell scoring from the spot, only for Ramos to head home with 13 minutes left before Benzema added a fourth to enlarged the benefit ahead of next week's second leg. Ramos now has nine goals in all competitions this season and these two were key as Madrid uphold what it is beginning to look like a second revival under coach Santiago Solari. After a souring start, Solari supervised a dip at the turn of the year but his team have now won four out of their last five, the only trip coming in a second leg defeat to Leganes when progress was already all-but secured.
Solari said that, "Football never lets up, now comes Espanyol on Sunday and we want to win to get closer to the top. When hard work is rewarded by results, the feeling is contagious."It would be a timely run into form, with Atletico Madrid in La Liga and then Ajax in the Champions League both to come at the start of next month.
Ten points adrift in the league, this competition now represents Madrid's best hope of a domestic trophy this season and Solari's selection seemed to suggest as much. He picked a strong line-up, which included a recall for the struggling Marcelo while Toni Kroos made the bench, after recovering from injury.Girona were on the ropes and Madrid came again. It was almost a mirror image, this time Vinicius curling a sumptuous ball to the back post where Benzema was left with an open net to tap in a fourth.