Madrid: Real Madrid face being thrown out of this season's Copa del Rey after reportedly fielding an ineligible player in the first leg of their fourth round tie against Cadiz on Wednesday.
Denis Cheryshev celebrates after scoring Real Madrid’s opening goal against Cadiz on Wednesday. Pic/Getty Images
Russian international Denis Cheryshev opened the scoring in Andalusia, but shouldn't have been on the field as he was due to serve a one-game ban in the competition after picking up three yellow cards whilst on loan at Villarreal last season.
Cheryshev was replaced a minute into the second-half by Mateo Kovacic. "Clearly we didn't know. Villarreal and the federation hadn't warned us," said Madrid boss Rafael Benitez. "When we knew we substituted him to show good faith."
Isco scored twice after the break before Cristian Marquez's late consolation rounded off the scoring in a 3-1 Madrid win. However, the result could yet prove meaningless if Madrid are proved to have fallen foul of the competition's rules with Cadiz president Manolo Vizcaino confirming his club will launch a formal complaint.
"We have decided to report the ineligible line-up," he said. "It hurts us to do so with a friendly club, but the decision taken has been firm and
Real Madrid director of institutional relations Emilio Butragueno also laid the blame at the Spanish Football Federation and Villarreal for not informing Madrid of the ban. "We didn't know about the situation, we didn't receive any notification from the federation nor Villlarreal," he told Canal Plus. "I also want to say that Cheryshev himself didn't know of any possible ban."
Second division side Osasuna were thrown out of the Cup earlier this season for fielding an ineligible player in their second round tie against Mirandes. It is also not the first time Madrid have been caught out by an administrative problem this season after the signing of Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea fell through as the clubs missed the deadline for the paperwork to be filled.
Barca slam six goals
Meanwhile, Barca's fine form continued as Sandro Ramirez scored a hat-trick as the Catalans swept aside third-tier Villanovense 6-1 to book their place in the Last 16.
Luis Enrique left Lionel Messi out of his 16-man squad, whilst Neymar and Luis Suarez remained on the bench as Barca's mix of youngsters and veterans proved way too strong for Villanovense after they had held out bravely for a 0-0 draw in the first leg five weeks ago. Dani Alves and Munir El Haddadi scored BArcelona's other goals while Juanfran grabbed the visitors' consolation goal.