Copa del Rey: Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane takes blame for club's ouster at the hands of modest Leganes

Admitting that it had been his worst night as Real Madrid coach, Zidane said: 'It's a logical result, our opponents played their match and we did not. It is a big blow. Nobody expected this, especially me.”

AFP January 25, 2018 12:20:17 IST
Copa del Rey: Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane takes blame for club's ouster at the hands of modest Leganes

Madrid: Real Madrid crashed to a humiliating Copa del Rey exit on Wednesday when they were knocked out by little Leganes in the quarter-finals with under-fire coach Zinedine Zidane taking the blame.

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.

Copa del Rey Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane takes blame for clubs ouster at the hands of modest Leganes

File image of Zinedine Zidane. Getty Images

"I am responsible for all of this. It's a failure for me," said Zidane who recently penned a contract extension until 2020.

Admitting that it had been his worst night as a coach, the Frenchman added: "It's a logical result, our opponents played their match and we did not.

"It is a big blow. We did what we had to do in the first leg. Nobody expected this, especially me but this is football.

"I am the manager. I picked the team and I was wrong in many regards. It's up to me to find the solutions. I will continue to fight, to work, to battle and to find the things the team needs."

Javi Eraso gave Leganes a 32nd-minute lead with a spectacular curling shot from long range.

Karim Benzema levelled on the night after 47 minutes thanks to a pass from Lucas Vazquez 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 — 15 times less than the €675 million 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 should still have had enough firepower for a side languishing in 13th spot in La Liga.

Zidane started with Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio, who scored in the first leg but he got a warning of what was to come when Claudio Beauvue saw a free-kick come back off a post.

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

 

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