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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 26 April, 2019
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Incredible scenes as Real Madrid suffer humiliating Copa del Rey exit

Leganes produced a shock result to pile pressure on Zinedine Zidane.

Real Madrid's Francisco Roman
Real Madrid's Francisco Roman "Isco", second right, vies for the ball with Leganes' Gabriel Appelt, right, during the Spanish Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg.
Image: Francisco Seco

REAL MADRID CRASHED to a humiliating Copa del Rey exit on Wednesday when they were knocked out by little Leganes in the quarter-finals, adding to the atmosphere of crisis at the European champions.

Real lost 2-1 in the second leg at their Bernabeu home as the tie finished 2-2 on aggregate with their modest city neighbours going through on away goals despite having lost the first leg 1-0 last week.

Javi Eraso gave Leganes a 32nd minute lead before Karim Benzema levelled after 47 minutes but Brazilian striker Gabriel Pires then hit the winner with a firm header eight minutes later.

It was a depressing evening for Zinedine Zidane’s side who, despite being in the Champions League last 16 where they face Paris Saint-Germain in three weeks’ time, are 19 points behind Barcelona in the Spanish title race.

The fans let their feelings known by booing off the team at half-time.

Leganes have a budget of just 45 million euros — six times less than the 675 million euros commanded by mighty Real.

Even without Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, who were rested Wednesday after starring in the 7-1 rout of Deportivo La Coruna at the weekend, Real’s second-string side should still have had enough firepower for a side languishing in 13th spot in La Liga.

But Leganes put on an inspired display, despite backs to the wall late in the game, to make the semi-finals for the first time.

In the night’s other game, Valencia made the semi-finals but needed a 3-2 penalty shoot-out to defeat Alaves who won 2-1 for a 3-3 aggregate.

On Tuesday, Sergio Escudero’s goal after just 24 seconds set Sevilla on their way to a 3-1 win over Atletico Madrid and a place in the semi-finals. Sevilla, finalists in 2016, had won the first leg 2-1.

Source: Premium Sintesi/YouTube

- (C) AFP 2018

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