Hazard heroics caps off Real Madrid comeback

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Madrid has lifted the Copa only twice this century and looked highly unlikely to improve that record when Marcelo was sent off and Gonzalo Verdu capitalised from the subsequent free-kick in the 103rd minute.

Carlo Ancelotti's men had been awful to that point but staged a stunning recovery courtesy of goals from two substitutes.

Isco levelled with 12 minutes to play, teeing up Hazard – much maligned at the Santiago Bernabeu – to race away and net a decisive second, stunning poor Elche, who were contentiously denied their own equaliser and then had Pere Milla dismissed.

Elche must have feared they would be made to pay when Madrid somehow reached half-time all square, grateful for the wayward finishing of forward Guido Carrillo, whose most remarkable miss worked only the crossbar after Marcelo's slip had allowed Josen to square across the face of goal.

A mixed Marcelo outing created Madrid's best second-half chance with a gorgeous flick, only for Vinicius Junior to finish tamely, before the left-back departed early in extra time after clipping the heels of Tete Morente.

Verdu's fortunate goal, deflected in off Dani Ceballos at the second attempt, followed the red card, but the luckless Madrid midfielder – another introduced from the bench – responded with a low effort that was touched on and in by Isco.

Madrid suddenly looked a better side with 10 men than they had been with 11 and stole the winner when Hazard rounded rash goalkeeper Axel Werner and netted from a tight angle.

There might yet have been another twist, but Fidel's goal was struck off after Verdu tangled with a Madrid player in the box. Elche argued in vain it was in fact their man who had been fouled, yet succeeded only in prompting Milla's second yellow card.