2018-19 Spanish Copa del Rey, Quarterfinals
  • Lucas Vázquez (18')
  • Sergio Ramos (42' PEN, 77')
  • Karim Benzema (80')
  • Anthony Lozano (7')
  • Álex Granell (66' PEN)
1st Leg
1st Leg

Real Madrid grab lead against Girona in Copa del Rey quarterfinal first leg

Sergio Ramos, left, celebrates with Lucas Vazquez after scoring a goal for Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey. Getty Images

Real Madrid staged a late rally to take a huge step towards the Copa del Rey semifinals, beating Girona 4-2 in their quarterfinal first leg on Thursday thanks to goals from Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema in the space of three minutes.

Madrid recovered from an early goal by Anthony Lozano to take a 2-1 half-time lead thanks to a Lucas Vazquez strike and a cheeky "Panenka" penalty from captain Ramos, but were pegged back by Alex Granell's penalty midway through the second half.

Girona's joy at having a second away goal to take into next Thursday's second leg did not last long as defender Ramos struck for the second time by heading home from a corner to restore the stuttering European champions' lead in the 77th minute.

Benzema then tapped the ball into the net at the near post to give Madrid a two-goal cushion in the 80th, increasing Santiago Solari's side's chances of reaching the last four of for the first time since they won the competition in 2014.