Football: Celta inflict shock Cup defeat on Real Madrid

MADRID (AFP) - After surrendering a record 40-game unbeaten run, Real Madrid suffered a second defeat in four days on Wednesday (Jan 18) as Celta Vigo took a 2-1 first leg lead from their Copa del Rey quarter-final at the Santiago Bernabeu.

All three goals came in a six-minute spell midway through the second-half as strikes from former Liverpool striker Iago Aspas and Jonny either side of Marcelo's reply for Madrid handed Celta a famous win.

Real can still salvage their quest for a first ever treble of Cup, La Liga and Champions League, but now need to score at least twice when the visit Balaidos for the second leg on Jan 25.

Cristiano Ronaldo was making his first appearance in the Copa del Rey for two years as Real coach Zinedine Zidane named a strong side with just four changes from the team that was beaten for the first time in 41 matches at Sevilla on Sunday (Jan 15).

However, with temperatures plummeting below zero and the match not kicking off until 9.15pm local time, the subdued atmosphere at the Bernabeu was matched by a lacklustre Madrid display.

Ronaldo had to wait until 33 minutes for his first clear sight of goal, but failed to make a clean connection with Sergio Ramos's cut-back and Jonny was able to clear from underneath his own crossbar.

The four-time World Player of the Year then had an unconvincing penalty appeal waived away before Casemiro's shot from outside the box flew just wide with Madrid's best effort of the first-half.

An unfortunate hand injury to Marco Asensio as he was accidentally trod on by Facundo Roncaglia ensured Ronaldo moved the centre of the Madrid attack back onto his habitual position on the left as Alvaro Morata was introduced early in the second-half.

Morata has scored four times as a substitute this season and nearly had an instant impact when he blazed over when well-positioned inside the area.

Instead, it was Celta who got the opener as the game sprung into life in the final 25 minutes.

Marcelo's miscued clearance from Theo Bongonda's cross only found the grateful Aspas alone inside the area and he rifled the ball high past Kiko Casilla for his 15th goal of the season.

Madrid rallied as they so often have this season when Marcelo made amends with a brilliant volley from the edge of the box.

However, no sooner had Celta kicked-off when they were back in front as a huge hole appeared in the middle of the Madrid defence and Aspas teed up Jonny to bear down on goal and slot coolly past Casilla.

Zidane threw on Karim Benzema for the hapless Danilo as the hosts chased the game in the final 10 minutes.

And the Frenchman's daring approach should have been rewarded with a second equaliser, but Benzema somehow blazed over with the goal at his mercy seven minutes from time meaning Madrid have it all to do at Balaidos next week.

In the night's other tie, two late goals from Ibai Gomez handed Alaves a 2-0 win at second division Alcorcon.