Soccer

Zidane’s awkward reaction as Real Madrid sent packing from Cup by minnows

Zinedine Zidane's reaction didn't look good after Real Madrid suffered a humiliating Copa del Rey exit – as pressure on the manager intensified.

Madrid were embarrassed in a 2-1 defeat to third-division Alcoyano – who were reduced to 10 men five minutes before scoring their winner.

While Cristiano Ronaldo was becoming football's all-time leading scorer, his former club were denied one avenue to silverware this season when they were sent packing from Spain's major cup competition.

And as Real conceded a sucker-punch goal on the counter-attack against Alcoyano, Zidane's reaction said it all.

The former World Cup winner could only give an embarrassed smirk as Juanan Casanova turned in a cross from close range.

And afterwards the under-pressure coach gave an unconvincing replay as he was asked if he had still had the support of the players.

"Yes, I think so," he said, quoted by ESPN.

"But you have to ask the players. We are all on the same boat. All defeats are painful.

"I don't like to lose and neither do my players. Now we have La Liga and the Champions League to focus on."

Zidane was rumoured to be facing the chop earlier in the season, and was asked if he was feeling the heat.

He replied: "I'm calm. We will see what happens in the next few days."

Madrid had taken the lead at the end of the first half after Eder Militao headed in a cross from Brazilian compatriot Marcelo.

Alcoyano substitute Jose Solbes levelled for the hosts with 10 minutes remaining to force extra time.

But the third-tier minnows were reduced to 10 men in the 110th minute when Ramon Lopez picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Casemiro.

However, they found an unlikely winner five minutes later when midfielder Juanan turned in a cross from close range.

Zidane's reaction to the defeat was slammed on Twitter, with one fan posting: "What kind of manager would put a smile when your club's being knocked out from Copa del Rey by a third division team?"

Another said: "Zidane's laughing because he's got another excuse to leave now. And this is a team that doesn't need Odegaard?"

Zidane made nine changes to the team that were beaten 2-1 by Athletic Bilbao in last week's Spanish Super Cup semi-final but was still able to field a strong starting 11 containing five Champions League winners.

Madrid remain second in La Liga ahead of their trip to face Alaves on Saturday.

However, they have played two games more than capital city rivals Atletico, who are four points ahead.

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