Atletico Madrid crashed out of the Copa del Rey after their shock defeat to Spanish third-tier side Cultural Leonesa. Just weeks after stunning Barcelona in Jeddah in the Spanish Super Cup, Diego Simeone's side have themselves been stunned by a minnow in Copa del Rey. Pressure continues to mount on Diego Simeone after yet another lacklustre display by the Rojiblancos. Cultural Leonesa produced a stunning result at home which helped them to qualify for the last 16 of the Copa del Rey for the first time since 1960.
Increíble— Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa (@CyDLeonesa) January 23, 2020
Atletico Madrid took the lead when Angel Correa scored in the 62nd minute of the game. The Argentine attacker played a quick one-two with Joao Felix before sending his left-footed shot past Cultural Leonesa goalkeeper Lucas Giffard. Despite being beaten by Correa, Lucas Giffard made a series of outstanding saves throughout the match to keep his side in the tie. Julen Castaneda got the Leon based-club to level in the final 10 minutes when he fired home a volley after a poor punch by Atletico goalkeeper Adan.
As the game headed to extra time, the crowd of nearly 13,000 at the Reino de Leon Stadium erupted after Sergio Benito scored early in extra time to give the advantage to the home side. With the entire stadium firmly behind their side, Leonesa managed to hold on to their slender lead and send Atletico Madrid crashing out of the Copa del Rey.
Atletico Madrid have not been eliminated this early in the Copa del Rey since losing to Albacete in a round of 32 clash in 2011-12. This is the first time under Diego Simeone that Atletico have exited the tournament in this round.
FT: Cultural Leonesa 2-1 Atlético Madrid.— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) January 23, 2020
This is the beauty of the new format of the Copa del Rey. No 2nd leg, one game, at their own ground. Smaller clubs get the chance to perform miracles. Atlético Madrid are knocked out against a club from the Segunda Division B! pic.twitter.com/zXapN5NqHv
While Atletico Madrid will unsurprisingly make the headlines for their poor performance against a third-division side, Cultural Leonesa deserve the plaudits for putting an excellent shift in defence. They defended resolutely and took their chances. Cultural Leonesa, a Spanish football team based in Northern-Spain in the city of Leon, currently ply their trade in the Segunda Division B (Spanish third tier). Leonesa spent just one season in LaLiga back in 1955. Although not many would fancy Leonesa to go further in the tournament, the club themselves will surely be confident of pulling another upset in the Copa del Rey.