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Real Madrid slump to worst defensive performance of Zidane era against Real Sociedad

9:27 PM GMT 06/02/2020
Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid 2019-20
The Frenchman saw his side ripped apart by at Santiago Bernabeu in a pulsating Copa del Rey quarter-final

Zinedine Zidane’s 250th official match in charge of Real Madrid did not go to plan, as his side conceded four goals in a game for the first time under his management.

Madrid were dumped out of the Copa del Rey at the quarter-final stage after a hugely entertaining 4-3 home defeat to Real Sociedad.

Martin Odegaard, on loan at Sociedad from Madrid, pulled the strings from midfield and scored his first goal at Santiago Bernabeu to see the away side leading at the break.

A brace from Alexander Isak put Sociedad three goals up before Marcelo pulled one back, but former Newcastle man Mikel Merino came off the bench to restore the cushion.

Goals from Rodrygo and Nacho brought Madrid back into the game in the dying moments, with Sergio Ramos heading straight at the goalkeeper with seconds to play.

Things could have been even worse for Madrid, as Sociedad missed a number of chances in the first-half and Isak saw another goal ruled out for offside by VAR. Vinicius Junior also had a goal disallowed for the hosts.

It was an unexpectedly poor defensive performance, with Madrid currently holding the best record in Europe’s top five leagues in terms of goals conceded.

Indeed, they currently have their best-ever defensive record at this stage of a league season, with just 13 goals conceded in 22 games.

The last time Madrid conceded four goals in a game was the 4-1 humiliation at home to Ajax in last season’s Champions League, when Santi Solari was at the helm.

The result also saw Madrid continue an unwanted, if rather obscure, run of results at home.

They are without a win at the Bernabeu in any one-legged elimination match this century in all competitions.

This was their third attempt, having previously been beaten in the Copa del Rey final on home soil against Deportivo La Coruna in 2002 and Atletico Madrid in 2013.

Odegaard’s goal provoked an angry reaction from some Madrid fans; the Norwegian’s excellent form for Sociedad has left some wondering why he was not kept in the Madrid squad this season.

Having already claimed the Supercopa de Espana, Madrid will now have to refocus their desire to win silverware elsewhere.

They lead Barcelona by three points at the top of La Liga, and will face Manchester City in the last 16 of the Champions League.