Real storm back to take charge in Cup

Madrid: Holders Real Madrid scored three times in 10 minutes at the Bernabeu in a dramatic comeback to beat Malaga 3-2 in their King`s Cup last 16 first leg.

Real coach Jose Mourinho threw caution to the wind with a triple substitution at halftime when his side were trailing 2-0. Sami Khedira, Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema responded by netting between the 68th and 78th minutes.

Up to that point, the underdogs had held sway in the Cup with three surprise results earlier in the evening.

Third tier Mirandes, who knocked out Villarreal in the previous round, took a 2-0 lead over Racing Santander and another Segunda B side, Albacete, vanquishers of Atletico Madrid, drew 0-0 with Athletic Bilbao.

Second division Alcorcon, who eliminated Real Zaragoza, grabbed a 2-1 win at home to high-flying Levante, who lie fourth in La Liga.

Qatari-owned Malaga had been thrashed 4-0 and 7-0 in their last two meetings with Real, but took the lead through Sergio Sanchez and Martin Demichelis, both scoring with headers from Santi Cazorla corners.

Mourinho threw on Khedira, Benzema and Mesut Ozil for the second half to try and shake his side out of their lethargy and the former barged his way through to start the fightback.

Higuain pounced on a wayward backpass to level two minutes later and Benzema slotted the third after a wonderful backheel from Higuain as Malaga desperately tried to keep the floodgates closed.

Pablo Infante was the hero for Mirandes, scoring after 32 minutes and laying on the second for Mikel Martins just after the restart, leaving La Liga`s lowest scoring team Racing with a tough task in the second leg.

Alcorcon, who famously dumped city neighbours Real out of the Cup while in the Segunda B two years ago, surprised Levante with Borja Perez and Nagore twice giving them the lead.

Last season`s losing finalists Barcelona are at home to Osasuna on Wednesday. The second legs will be played next week.

Bureau Report