Los Blancos’ hopes of winning a first Copa del Rey title since 2014 have suffered a blow.
Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey exit won’t derail their season and the only consequence of the defeat is that it will make the squad stronger, according to manager Carlo Ancelotti.
An 89th-minute strike from Alex Berenguer gifted Athletic Club a 1-0 win over the LaLiga leaders in a quarter-final encounter at the San Mames on Thursday.
The defeat ended Real Madrid’s quadruple hopes, having recently won the Spanish Super Cup. However, with the club still top of LaLiga and in the Champions League knockouts, Ancelotti was far from downbeat.
😵 Real Madrid have have now failed to reach the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey in seven of the last eight seasons pic.twitter.com/pm6tr6bJG2
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 4, 2022
“We’re hurt, because we want to win every competition we play,” said the Real Madrid manager in a post-match press conference in Bilbao.
“We won the Supercopa, and this one has gone, but we have two more competitions where we’re well-positioned.
“I don’t think this defeat will have consequences. The only consequence is that it can make us stronger.”
The 19-time Copa del Rey winners struggled in the attack, without an injured Karim Benzema. It was the first time in six games they had failed to score in a match. Their best chance on Thursday was a low shot from Casemiro in the second half.
“It wasn’t our worse game of the season,” Ancelotti continued. “A difficult game, and we knew it would be, but that’s all. We won here in the league [1-2 in December] but it was tough. This match was even until the last minute.
“Athletic deserved it with the effort they made, but I don’t think we played our worst game of the season today.”
Joining Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey semi-finals are Rayo Vallecano, Valencia and Real Betis. The four clubs will discover their last four opponents in Friday’s draw.