Real Madrid Crash Out of Copa del Rey On Away Goals to Leganes
Real Madrid crashed out of the Copa del Rey in the quarterfinals on away goals on Wednesday after local rivals Leganes secured a 2-1 win in the second leg at the Bernabeu.
After winning the opening leg 1-0, Zinedine Zidane rested Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale for the second leg of the quarterfinal, and the pressure on the Madrid boss will only escalate after Los Blancos failed to reach the cup semifinals for a third straight year.
Leganes had a bright start as Claudio Beauvue struck the outside of the post from a free kick, and the visitors took the lead on the night in the 32nd minute.
Achraf’s pass at the back put Nacho under pressure, and Javier Eraso pounced on the loose ball for Leganes and sent a strike into the top corner from 25 yards, out of the reach of goalkeeper Francisco Casilla.
But Madrid struck back within two minutes of the second half, as Benzema ran onto Lucas Vazquez’s through pass and slotted home from a tight angle.
However, the visitors were not daunted and nine minutes later took the lead in the tie on away goals when Gabriel slammed a header home following a corner.
Madrid pushed for the goal that would swing the tie, and Benzema lashed a first-time shot directly at the goalkeeper, and moments later Borja Mayoral’s header curled just wide.
Real Madrid join Atletico Madrid in exiting the Copa in the quarterfinals after the Rojiblancos fell to Sevilla on Tuesday.
In the semifinals, Leganes and Sevilla will be joined by Valencia — who beat Alaves on penalties earlier on Wednesday — and the winners of Thursday’s second leg between Barcelona and Espanyol.
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