Reigning Spanish La Liga champions Real Madrid CF were schooled by third division club CD Alcoyano at the Copa del Rey on Wednesday. Alcoyano eliminated the Spanish giants 2-1 in extra time even after being left with 10 men.
Real Madrid had a fairly good start to the match as they took the lead at the stroke of half-time thanks to defender Eder Militao. However, Los Blancos were unable to hold on to the lead and allowed Jose Solbes to take the equaliser with ten minutes left in regulation.
The match went into extra time and things fell through for the 19-time Cope del Rey winners. Segunda Division B team Alcoyano took the winner even after losing Ramon Lopez Olivan following a careless second yellow card.
Juli orchestrated the winning goal by starting a counter-attack that also involved Diakite and Anton. Diakete then crossed to Juanan, who drilled home from the near post to claim the 2-1 victory.
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane knows that his job is on the line after losing their chances at both the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa del Rey all in the span of less than a week. “I take responsibility and whatever has to happen will happen,” Zidane said, as quoted by the BBC.
Their title defence in La Liga is still alive, but even that is slowly slipping away with Atletico Madrid leading by four points. That seems like a narrow gap but Atletico still has two games in hand.
Last night’s match was played without captain Sergio Ramos, whose absence always makes a huge difference on the pitch for Los Blancos. However, for some reason, the club has been unable to finalise a contract extension for the long-serving star. Ramos has risen up the ranks at the Bernabeu after 16 years in the club and is now on the brink of a surprise exit this summer.
Despite the absence of Ramos, there was no excuse to lose to a third tier team. Superstars like Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard, Marcelo, Casemiro and Toni Kroos were all available.
Numerous Spanish publications have openly made their judgement, saying that Zidane’s reign has come to an end.