Real Madrid Crashes Out of Copa del Rey

Real Madrid was knocked out of the cup after a shock 2-1 loss to Leganes, which is 13th in La Liga.Real Madrid was knocked out of the cup after a shock 2-1 loss to Leganes, which is 13th in La Liga.

Real Madrid crashed out of the Copa del Rey in stunning fashion with a 2-1 defeat to Leganes on Wednesday at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.

The visitors from the southern outskirts of Madrid earned passage to the cup semifinals with a 2-2 win on aggregate, on the strength of away goals from Eraso and Gabriel, Marca reported.

The defeat is the latest in a line of poor results from Real’s “B” team, which excelled last season, but has suffered from abject performances in 2017-18, such as Wednesday’s outing.

The result will certainly reignite the criticism that manager Zinedine Zidane had been receiving prior to last weekend’s hammering of Deportivo. More importantly for Los Blancos, there is now just one trophy - the Champions League - that can realistically be won this season.

With nothing to lose, Leganes came out strong and Beauvue nearly evened up the tie in the first five minutes with a right-footed free-kick that stung the post. Real was controlling most of the possession and Isco was showing off his array of tricks, but it was actually Leganes that was producing chances.

However, it was a Real error that would inject the drama, as a poor pass from Achraf and failed clearance by Nacho set the table for Eraso’s opener. The Leganes midfielder pounced on the ball and launched a right-footed rocket that Real goalkeeper Kiko Casilla had no chance of stopping, and in the blink of an eye it was 1-0 to Leganes and 1-1 in the tie.

Real needed to react, but outside of an Isco ball to Benzema that was just out of the Frenchman’s reach, there was nothing of note from the hosts in the first 45 minutes, and the Bernabeu showed its displeasure with a shower of whistles.

Real had the look of a different side at the start of the second stanza. Not two minutes had elapsed after the re-start when Benzema and Isco completed a one-two combination with the former going unmarked through the Leganes defense and lofting a shot over Champagne and into net for the 1-1 equalizer and 2-1 advantage in the tie.

Leganes took the punch and countered almost immediately. Less than 10 minutes later the team was back in front and unlike the header he squandered in the first half, Gabriel made good on his second attempt by beating Theo and thumping in a header past Casilla for a 2-1 lead in both the match and the tie.

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