Real Madrid held to draw by second-tier Numancia

With a 3-0 win at Los Pajaritos in the first leg, Real Madrid had all but sealed their place in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals. Their first game at the Santiago Bernabeu since Real’s dismal display in ‘El Clasico’ confirmed their place in the next round, despite only managing a disheartening 2-2 draw.

The team is in the eye of the storm, as is Zinedine Zidane and his coaching staff, and before kick-off they saw the clash with Numancia as an exhaust valve to relieve the pressure that has been mounting in recent weeks.

However, another disappointing result further increased the question mark hanging over last season’s champions of Spain and Europe. The home supporters expected to see a solid effort from Zidane’s ‘B-team’. Instead, Madrid conceded twice against a second-tier side who left the Bernabeu in celebration.

Lucas Vazquez gave Real an early lead and it seemed those in the stands were in for a treat, but as the minutes went by, it only highlighted the lack of depth Zidane has at his disposal.

At the stroke of half time, Numancia levelled on the counter, with Guillermo finishing off for the visitors. After the break, Vazquez put Madrid ahead again thanks to a good team move and the hosts showed no intention of putting the game out of reach.

Having settled for a one-goal difference, Real let the game peter out. They were shocked in the closing stages by a superb header from Guillermo, rubbing salt in a wound that is proving hard to heal.