Youngsters Hakimi, Hernandez falter in Madrid's shock cup exit

Real Madrid fell unceremoniously out of the Copa del Rey on away goals after a home defeat to Leganes. Javi Eraso took advantage of Nacho's error to open the scoring with a shot that arced into the top corner from 25 yards. Karim Benzema equalised for the hosts shortly after the break, chipping the ball over Leganes 'keeper Nereo Champagne from an acute angle. Gabriel Pires won the match, and the tie, with a bullet header from a corner after 55 minutes.

It is the first time in the history of the Copa del Rey that Real Madrid have lost a tie at the Bernabeu having won the first leg.


Benzema scored his first goal since Nov. 25, when he found the net against Malaga in La Liga. In the context of the evening, and given that Benzema was anonymous apart from that moment in the 47th minute, this is scraping the barrel.


Real Madrid did not register a shot on target in the first 45 minutes. That statistic reflects a team that is devoid of ideas and cohesion.

Manager rating out of 10

2 -- "Today is a failure for me, that much is clear," said Zinedine Zidane after full-time. Given the fragile morale at the club, his first mistake was to persist with fringe players who have repeatedly underperformed. His second mistake was to leave Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo -- two players who could have rescued Madrid -- out of the squad. His third mistake was to dither. Luka Modric and Dani Carvajal should have been introduced far earlier. Zidane remains the manager because of the weight of his reputation. The Champions League tie against PSG is his last chance.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Kiko Casilla, 5 -- Exposed by Leganes' pressing, which sometimes gave no options but to spray the ball vaguely towards the other end of the pitch. Blameless for both goals.

DF Achraf Hakimi, 3 -- The 19-year-old is cripplingly low on confidence. That manifested itself through a succession of woeful crosses that either slammed into the first defender, or floated straight over the penalty area.

DF Nacho, 4 -- Whether at Real Madrid or Ramsbottom United, a centre-half must know when to kick the ball very, very hard away from their own goal. Nacho over-complicated Hakimi's bobbling pass and paid the price, as Eraso snuck in to open the scoring.

DF Sergio Ramos, 5 -- A reasonable performance on return from injury, particularly as Nacho was uncharacteristically skittish alongside him. The captain, sporting a new goatee, forced the opposition 'keeper in to a flying save to deny a header in the second half.

DF Theo Hernandez, 3 -- One moment summed up his performance. Theo stood with his left leg extended, his eyes fixed on goal, as if he was following through after striking a volley. The ball bounced tamely next to him, unmoved by his air-shot.

MF Marcos Llorente, 4 -- A player struggling to find his identity. He does not possess Casemiro's nose for danger, nor the technical qualities to play in a more creative role. He will not have many, if any, more chances this season.

MF Mateo Kovacic, 5 -- Tried to inject some rhythm into Madrid's midfield and carry the ball forward. Kovacic is always tidy, but rarely rousing.

MF Isco, 4 -- The playmaker has fallen a long way since August. It seemed that he had finally consolidated a place in Madrid first team. After a string of pretty yet ineffective performances, he is in danger of returning to bit-part status. The Bernabeu whistled his withdrawal, but he did little to justify his place on the pitch.

FW Lucas Vazquez, 5 -- A neat pass to set up Benzema's goal was rare moment of subtlety in a performance that was defined by lots of effort and little quality.

FW Karim Benzema, 5 -- A two-month goal drought ended with a neat finish. And Benzema came extremely close to scoring in the first half with a diving header. Otherwise: anonymous.

FW Marco Asensio, 3 -- Apart from firing one free kick over the bar and another in to the midriff of the ball, it is hard to recall what the off-the-boil winger did. Like so many others, his confidence is wounded.


DF Dani Carvajal, 6 -- Replaced Hakimi after 68 minutes and immediately added intensity and quality on the right.

MF Luka Modric, 5 -- Came on at the same time as Carvajal, which was about 20 minutes too late.

FW Borja Mayoral, NR -- Did nothing of note after replacing Isco with 13 minutes remaining.