Real Madrid reached the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday but their struggles continued with a 2-2 draw against second-division team Numancia. Madrid, playing with a second-string lineup, advanced 5-2 on aggregate thanks to its 3-0 win in the first leg last week, which marked the team’s only win in its last four games.
Zinedine Zidane’s side was coming off a 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo and a demoralizing 3-0 home loss to Barcelona in the Spanish league, a competition in which it trails the Catalan club by 16 points with a game in hand.
In front of fewer than 38,000 fans at the 81,000-capacity Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Lucas Vazquez scored for Madrid in the 10th and 59th minutes, while Guillermo Fernandez got Numancia on the board in the 45th and 82nd. Madrid struggled to create significant chances and was unable to prevent Numancia from threatening.
“We faced a team that gave all it had and played a good game,” Zidane said. “We need to win two or three games in a row to regain some of our confidence. We will keep working hard. We will not just give up.”
Numancia captain Dani Calvo was red carded in injury time. “We are happy with our performance,” Fernandez said. “It’s not easy to earn a draw in this stadium. We are very satisfied.”
Cristiano Ronaldo was among the players rested by Zidane on Wednesday. Regular starters Casemiro and Isco entered the match in the second half.
On Tuesday, Atletico Madrid eliminated third-division club Lleida, while Valencia beat Las Palmas. Three-time defending champion Barcelona hosts Celta Vigo on Thursday. The teams drew 1-1 in last week’s first leg in Vigo.