The cup can always offer a surprise and with memories of the ‘Alcorconazo’ fresh in our mind, last night it was the turn of the ‘Pepinazo’, from Pepineros or Cucumber Harvesters as Leganés are known. This was a more incredible feat given that the freak scoreline in the first leg in Alcorcón who won 4-0, this meant Real Madrid faced a steep uphill climb in the second tie. The games against Leganes were totally different affairs. Madrid won the first leg by a late solitary goal, a deceptive scoreline which fails to replicate the truth of what occurred during the 90 minutes of action where 'Lega' were the better side. Last night was more of the same at the Bernabéu, with the scoreline this time mirroring the reality of the game. Leganés were thew better team and will be the centre of the media spotlight after disposing Zidane's side from the Copa del Rey.
Failing to deliver
We've been saying this for a while now. Both Zidane's first and indeed second team have cast doubts and we saw this again last night. A team playing without passion and drive and too many players with low confidence levels aware that they have yet to convince the French coach. Or maybe these players are simply as not as good as we though they would be. Once again Achraf, Llorente and Theo had discreet evenings and it's alarming the decline in form being experienced by both Isco and Asensio. Casilla had another poor performance and only Lucas Vázquez had a performance of merit with his assist leading to the only Real Madrid goal of the evening with Benzema chipping home from an acute angle.
Questions to be asked
One decent goal was all Madrid offered to their fans. They failed to launch the traditional late assault and rally with Leganés dealing admirably with everything thrown at them. And so ends the 2017/18 Copa del Rey adventure for Zidane and let's not forget Madrid needed a few soft penalties against both Fuenlabrada and Numancia to reach the quarter-final stage. This defeat is major backwards step for Zidane and if anything shows clear fissures within his squad. Tactically related questions will also be asked of the Frenchman, for example, why was Gareth Bale not called up? The Champions League game against PSG has now become Zidane's match-ball to save his place on the Bernabeu bench.