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Zidane Defends Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey Exit

Zidane Defends Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey Exit

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has taken full responsibility for Thursday’s early exit from the Copa del Rey at the hands of Spanish third division side Alcoyano but says the upset is “not a disgrace.”

Madrid lost 2-1 in extra-time in the last 32 with Alcoyano playing the last 10 minutes of the game a man down after Ramon Lopez’s sending off.

“We tried,” Zidane said after the match. “The players gave their all on the pitch.

“I’m the coach, the responsibility is mine. I’m responsible. We’ve played against a third division team and we should have won but it’s not a disgrace.”

Related: Third Division Alcoyano Dump Real Madrid Out Of Copa del Rey

Asked if he is feeling the heat, Zidane said: “I’m calm. We will see what happens in the next few days.”

Casemiro and Lucas Vazquez were the only regulars included in Zidane’s starting XI against Alcoyano.

However, Zidane brought out Karim Benzema after the hour and trio Toni Kroos, Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio at the start of extra time in the hope of finding the winner.

However, it was Alcoyano that struck five minutes from time.

“This is football,” Zidane said. “These are things that happen in the life of a footballer. Had we scored the second goal it would have been a different game. Their goalkeeper made two or three saves.”

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