Cup shock not an embarrassment for Madrid, insists Zidane


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Spanish Super Cup - Semi Final - Real Madrid v Athletic Bilbao - La Rosaleda Stadium, Malaga, Spain - January 14, 2021 Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane speaks to media after the match REUTERS/Jon Nazca

ALCOY, Spain (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said his side would not lose their heads after being dumped out of the Copa del Rey by third division Alcoyano on Wednesday, also dismissing suggestions the 2-1 defeat had caused his side great embarrassment.

"It's not an embarrassment, it's something that can always happen in football," the Frenchman told reporters.

"Something like this can happen in a footballer's career but I take responsibility for it and we'll keep on working. We're not going to go crazy over this."

Real went ahead late in the first half through Eder Militao but an 80th-minute goal from Jose Solbes forced extra time and Alcoyano's Juanan hit the winner in the 115th minute after his side had been reduced to 10 men.

Zidane brought on some of his biggest names late in the game such as Eden Hazard, Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema, but the world class talent could not prevent Real slipping to their worst Cup defeat since being knocked out by Alcorcon in 2009/10.

They also exited the competition in the last 32 in 2015/16 due to fielding an ineligible player against Cadiz.

"The players gave everything on the pitch, we had a few chances and when you don't score them this is what happens. Their goalkeeper made two or three great saves and the second goal just didn't want to go in. If it had done, it would have been a very different game," Zidane added.

"It's a difficult moment because we're out of the Cup, we needed to do more than we did today but at least we tried everything."

The Alcoyano defeat followed last week's Super Cup semi-final loss to Athletic Bilbao and Real have only won once in their last five matches in all competitions.

Zidane was asked if he feared for his position as coach due to the team's slide in form.

"When you lose people always talk about that but I take responsibility and whatever will be will be. I'm very relaxed, our players want to win every game, they always try to but sometimes something else happens. You have to deal with it," he said.

"We've been playing well, a little bit less recently, but apart from the last couple of games we've done things well this season and we need to remember what we're capable of."

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis)

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