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Sports

December 2, 2016

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Barcelona held by Hercules, Real Madrid romp into last 16

Barcelona held by Hercules, Real Madrid romp into last 16

MADRID: Barcelona were held 1-1 by lowly Hercules in their King’s Cup last 32 first-leg match on Wednesday while Mariano scored a hat-trick as Real Madrid romped to a 6-1 second-leg victory over third-tier Cultural Leonesa with a 13-2 aggregate triumph.

Barca’s Carles Alena struck a sublime effort in the 58th minute to cancel out David Mainz’s close-range opener six minutes earlier as the cup holders came from behind but had to accept a draw in a match they dominated.

The Spanish champions’ struggles in La Liga followed them to Segunda B side Hercules as a much-changed side made it three domestic games without a win after a disjointed performance.

Real Madrid, playing a leg earlier than everyone else ahead of their Club World Cup campaign, held a 7-1 lead after the first game and made short shrift of their opponents at the Bernabeu, opening the scoring after 23 seconds through Dominican forward Mariano.

James Rodriguez added a second with a header in the 23rd minute before Mariano, on his debut, doubled his tally.

The visitors pulled one back through Yerey Gonzalez’s magnificent long-range effort just before the break, but Real dominated the second half, Zidane’s son Enzo marking his debut with a goal and Mariano rounding off his hat-trick with a header.

Leonesa’s Cesar Morgado scored an own goal in the last minute to round off a miserable afternoon as Real, who were disqualified from last year’s tournament after fielding an ineligible player, extended their unbeaten run to 32 matches.

Elsewhere, Joaquin Correa scored a hat-trick as Sevilla thumped fourth-tier SD Formentera 5-1 while Atletico Madrid stormed to a 6-0 victory over Segunda B outfit Guijuelo.

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