Real humbled by Alcorcon
Real Madrid were given a Copa del Rey shock on Tuesday 27 October when third-division minnows and unheralded city neighbours Alcorcon dished out a 4-0 drubbing to the nine-time European champions.
The tiny provincial side, with an annual budget of just 1.2 million euros - 300 times less than their esteemed visitors - added a notable footnote to their modest history in front of their home fans at the 3,000-capacity Estadio Municipal de Santo Domingo.
Real were undone by a club which was only founded in 1971 with an own goal by former Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa, Borja Perez's brace, and an Ernesto Gomez strike.
Not pleasant viewing for Real president Florentino Perez and club director Jorge Valdano watching from the stands. Yet, if they fail to overturn the lopsided scoreline in the second leg of this last 32 tie it will by no means be the first time Real Madrid have bid a hasty farewell to the Copa del Rey.
The Spanish giants, who last collected the title way back in 1993, were kicked out of Spain's premier cup competition in 2008 by third-tier side Real Union, a loss that triggered the dismissal of coach Bernd Schuster.
Real's embarrassing defeat on Tuesday came despite the presence of Raul and Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini welcoming back strikers Karim Benzema and Ruud van Nistelrooy. However, Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentinian forward Gonzalo Higuain, who also missed the club's 0-0 draw with Sporting Gijon last weekend, were still sidelined.
Tuesday's reverse came after a bad seven days which started with Real losing 3-2 at home to AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League and then the goalless draw at Gijon.
Elsewhere, Recreativo Huelva were held 1-1 at home by Gijon, well-travelled striker Mate Bilic grabbing a second-half equaliser for the visitors. Atletico de Madrid, meanwhile, got off to a solid start under their new coach Quique Sanchez Flores, the former Valencia and Benfica boss guiding Los Colchoneros to a 2-0 first-leg win at Marbella.
UEFA Europa League hopefuls Sevilla, for their part, stormed to an emphatic 4-2 success at the home of Atletico Ciudad to put one foot in the last 16. Getting the goals for the Andalusians were Brazilian hotshot Luis Fabiano (twice) and Spain widemen Jesus Navas and Diego Capel.
La Liga leaders Barcelona are in action on Wednesday, when they will visit Cultural Leonesa.