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Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Third-tier Alcoyano humiliate Madrid in Copa del Rey

European giants Real Madrid were handed a humiliating Copa del Rey last-32 defeat by third division outfit Alcoyano – who were down to 10 men.

Zinedine Zidane’s side took the lead through defender Eder Militao but Jose Solbes took the tie to extra time.

Alcoyano – who play in Segunda Division B – had Ramon Lopez sent off for a second booking but earned a famous win when Juanan stole in at the near post.

Club legend Zidane has won three Champions League titles as a manager but is under pressure, with his side four points behind La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid – who have two games in hand.

Real Madrid are 19-time winners of the Copa del Rey, but have not lifted it for seven years and have only won it twice since 1993 and incredibly, this is the fifth time a team from the third tier has eliminated them since 2001.

Real were without captain Sergio Ramos – who is out of contract this summer and could leave the club after 16 years – as Zidane made nine changes from the team who lost to Athletic Bilbao in the Super Cup.

But the team that finished against Alcoyano still contained Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard, Marcelo, Casemiro and Toni Kroos.

Meanwhile, Zidane has said he is responsible for the loss while claiming the loss was not embarrassing.

“We did our best, the players gave it all they had out on the pitch. We had chances to get the second goal and when you fail to convert then we’ve seen what can happen.

“It was a different game today and we struggled. It’s a tough one because it means we’re out of the Copa. We should have done things differently but we didn’t manage to do so”.

“I am the coach and it’s my responsibility, I’ll accept that. The players tried everything and if we’d have got the goal it would have been a completely different game.

“You have to take your chances when they come in football. The opposition goalkeeper made two or three very good saves, that second goal just eluded us and now we’re out”.

This is football. We were playing against a Segunda B side and we should have won the game. It’s not embarrassing or anything of the sort. These are things that happen during a footballer’s career and I take responsibility.

“We’re going to keep working hard. We have to come through this as we have in the past and we will again. It’s another painful day today because we don’t like losing – especially for the players, they want to win. We’re not going to lose our heads, we have to think and keep working hard”.


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