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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Football

Real red-faced after blank show at Olimpic de Xavita
Reuters
Madrid, December 09, 2013
First Published: 00:49 IST(9/12/2013)
Last Updated: 20:36 IST(9/12/2013)

Real Madrid were held to an embarrassing 0-0 draw at third-tier Olimpic de Xativa in the King’s Cup last 32, first leg as they came down to earth with a bump after a series of big wins.

Real, the world’s richest club by income, were missing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Xabi Alonso but a team packed with internationals still failed to see off lowly opponents at their tiny stadium near Valencia.

The Olimpic players compete in a regional division one level below Real’s B team and worked tirelessly on the artificial pitch to keep their illustrious visitors, the 2011 Cup winners, from barely managing a shot on target.

Real coach Carlo Ancelotti, whose side scored 18 goals in their last four matches, spent most of the match furiously chewing gum and shaking his head on the sidelines.

Even the introduction of Karim Benzema and Luka Modric in the second half failed to provide the spark to break down a dogged home defence.

The final whistle prompted boisterous celebrations among the incredulous home fans crammed into the modest arena, who chanted "Yes we can!" ahead of the return at the Bernabeu on December 18.


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