Real Madrid are out of the 2020/21 Copa del Rey after a shocking 2-1 extra time defeat at the hands of Segunda B side Alcoyano in the Round of 32 on Wednesday night at the Estadio El Collao.
Los Blancos served up a poor, lifeless display and the result is a cup elimination that evokes memories of previous humiliations against lower division sides Alcorcon and Real Union.
A week after losing to Athletic Club in the Supercopa de Espana semi finals, Zinedine Zidane now finds himself an even more difficult situation as coach.
Eder Militao scored to give Madrid a lead right before half-time, but they were never able to put away the pesky hosts, who equalised in the final minutes through Solbes. A sending off for Alcoyano with ten minutes left in extra time should have made things easier, but instead Madrid got caught on the break, with Juanan scoring a goal that will forever live in Alcoyano lore.
Absences in defence forced Zidane to make a slew of changes to his back-line, with the little-used Alvaro Odriozola getting the nod at right-back, Militao and debutant Victor Chust at centre-back and veteran Marcelo at left-back. Isco was also an inclusion in midfield, while the attack was led by Lucas Vazquez, Mariano and Vinicius. The night also served as a debut for goalkeeper Andriy Lunin.
Madrid tested home goalkeeper Jose Juan with a pair of early chances, the first an effort from distance from Fede Valverde, followed by a Militao header off a corner kick. Lucas Vazquez also had a crack at goal later in the half, but outside of those opportunities, Madrid could not puncture what was a compact and resolute Alcoyano defence until the very final seconds of the half.
The goal originated from the left foot of Marcelo, who fizzed in a ball into the area that met the surging Militao, who headed in past the flat-footed Jose Juan to make it a 1-0 Madrid lead.
Like in the first 45 minutes, Madrid were hardly threatening in the final third despite an overwhelming advantage in possession. Finally, a rare counter-attack for Los Blancos almost yielded a second score, only for Jose Juan to come all the way out of his own penalty area to block a Vinicius shot.
It was the let-off that Alcoyano needed and minutes later they stunned Los Blancos to pull level 1-1 with ten minutes to play. Juli whipped in a corner kick that was flicked on at the near post and spun perfectly for Solbes to stab home from a metre out for the goal.
Zidane looked on in dismay with the sound of the final whistle and made his second change to start extra time, with Marco Asensio replacing Vinicius. Later on, it was Eden Hazard and Toni Kroos getting summoned from the bench for Odriozola and Isco, respectively.
A slick one-two combination between Asensio and Benzema forced Jose Juan into a diving save, as Madrid crept closer to goal. Their task was made easier by a foolish second yellow card and sending off for Ramon with ten minutes remaining.
The 41-year-old Alcoyano stopper, who was superb throughout, was called on one last time during play to make a save, capping it with a kick-save to deny Marcelo.
The golden moment for Alcoyano came with just minutes remaining, with Juli kicking off a counter-attack that was beautifully continued by Diakite and Anton, with the former crossing for Juanan, who appeared at the near post and steered home a shot past Alcoyano to give the hosts an improbable 2-1 lead.
There would be no last-minute miracle for Madrid on this occasion, as the Segunda B side closed things out to pocket a victory that will reverberate throughout Spain.
2.- Alcoyano: Jose Juan; Jordan (Juli, min. 60), Primi, Raul, Pablo (Molto, min. 60); Rubio (Ramon, min. 72), Jony (Diakite, min. 78), Juanan, Angel; Mourad (Anton, min. 106), Jona (Jose Solbes, min. 60)
1.- Real Madrid: Lunin; Odriozola (Hazard, min. 98), Militao, Chust, Marcelo; Casemiro, Valverde, Isco (Kroos, min. 98); Lucas, Mariano (Benzema, min. 67), Vinicius (Asensio, min. 91).
Goals: 0-1, min. 45: Militao; 1-1, min. 81: Solbes; 2-1, min. 115; Juanan
Referee: Sanchez Martinez (Murcia). Yellow cards: Jordan (Min. 32) for Alcoyano, Juanan (Min. 35) for Alcoyano, Mariano (Min. 59) for Real Madrid, Odriozola (Min. 78) for Real Madrid, Primi (Min. 90+4) for Alcoyano, Ramon (Min. 103) for Alcoyano, Ramon (Min. 110) for Alcoyano
Red cards: None
Stadium: El Collao
Source: Marca / Arch Bell