Alcoyano 2-1 Real Madrid AET (Militão). Incredible. Here is a quick reaction. Still to come: Player ratings, the post-game podcast, any post-game quotes, and further analysis.
These early cup fixtures have offered an exciting opportunity to get a closer look and provide minutes to up and coming fringe and youth players in years previous. A lot of the excitement ahead of this game was heavily marred after the Martin Ødegaard developments yesterday - and although it was good to see Andriy Lunin and Víctor Chust handed debuts, seeing Lucas Vázquez start his nineteenth game in a row was nothing but confusing. Lunin and Chust ended up being two of the more positive factors of this first half.
After taking in the line-ups, any remaining anticipation I had left for the game was quickly washed away as the play became as one dimensional and mundane as the quiet empty stands surrounding the teams. Bar some fancy footwork from Isco and the odd abrupt delivery into the box, Real Madrid struggled to break down Alcoyano’s defensive shape in the first half. The only time Mariano was noticeable was when he felt compelled to drop deep to pick up the ball and advance himself, yet failing to do so on multiple occasions.
Alcoyano were well organised, and their 41 year old goalkeeper was notably impressive with his safe hands and surprising acrobatics. It was interesting to see former Real Madrid academy player Alberto Rubio start, and play well on the right-hand side after I had completely forgotten about his existence. Real Madrid saw an immense amount of possession, but it came with very little impact. The goal just before half-time was well taken, with Marcelo putting a good ball into the box and Éder Militão connecting well to score his first Real Madrid goal.
Alcoyano 0-1 Real Madrid - Eder Militao goalpic.twitter.com/dkeM7IXuxT— noobfcb (@noob_fcb) January 20, 2021
The second half produced far less to review. I didn’t see much point in Karim Benzema coming in just after the midway point. Lunin had a shakier second half, parrying a few comfortable looking efforts. Vinícius was wasteful after beating his man and drawing the keeper. Moments later, Alcoyano equalised from a corner. Vinícius Júnior fell asleep and never really picked his man up for the back post tap in. The ball being allowed to travel through the crowd and reach the goal scorer didn’t exactly scream competency either. What might these two significant mistakes within a minute mean for Vinícius Júnior?
Extra time may have seen Real Madrid bring in the big guns, with Marco Asensio, Toni Kroos and Eden Hazard coming in - but it didn’t bring much action in the first period. Madrid created some opportunities, but the Alcoyano keeper José Juan Figueras was having none of it, in what must have been the performance of his life. The home side went down to ten men in the final segment after a silly challenge on Casemiro. Although Madrid piled on the pressure, Alcoyano shockingly took the lead with a genuinely good counter attacking move. Utter disbelief... Real Madrid are out of the Copa Del Rey, and for once fall to the embarrassing side of football history...
ALCOYANO GO 2-1 UP ON REAL MADRID!— Premier Sports (@PremierSportsTV) January 20, 2021
The Segunda B side are down to 10-men and just a few extra time minutes away from knocking Zidane's side out of the Copa del Rey! pic.twitter.com/MXYgrhLi1a
Look out for player ratings coupled with the post game podcast later on...