Madrid luck holds out
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Spanish champions chose to rest a number of their star names, including Figo and Zidane, but this will not disguise a poor performance.
The game ended 4-3 in favour of the Spanish Champions, but even without a lexicon of footballing talent, Madrid will be embarrassed by their display tonight.
In a game punctuated by woeful defending, robust challenges and passes that were lackadaisical beyond belief, Madrid finally won the tie thanks to a sumptuous moment of magic from Raul.
The game began in predictable fashion. Leganes were nervous and Madrid predictably cocksure.
In the 14th minute Beckham broke the deadlock with a free-kick that evaded the Leganes wall and the woeful dive of their keeper.
England's skipper, buoyed by his goal, then proceeded to boss the game with a new-found authority.
It was his shot, spilled by the unfortunate keeper, which resulted in Madrid's second goal.
Beckham's well directed shot danced off the greasy surface and forced the Leganes keeper to spill into the onrushing path of Raul.
The Real captained finished with ease to put Madrid into a seemingly unassailable 2-0 lead.
However, the plucky Segunda division club refused to be bullied by Madrid's La Liga stars and by half-time were level.
In the 39th minute Borja finished off a well-worked Leganes move and then deep into first-half stoppage time the same man stooped low to head in an impressive leveller.
The second half began with Leganes in the ascendancy and they deservedly took the lead early in the second period.
A right-wing cross was whipped into the Real box and Pavon, weak throughout, back-headed past his own keeper.
Madrid responded with the introduction of Brazilian Ronaldo for the final twenty minutes.
However, the talented forward was a peripheral figure as his Real team mates continued to be woeful in dedication, commitment and most surprisingly; quality.
With three minutes left on the clock, Solari was played in by Cambiasso and the Spanish winger saw his low drive fortuitously deflect over the Legunes keeper for an undeserved equalizer.
Extra-time brought a plethora of chances, but woeful finishing looked likely to send the game to penalties.
However, quality finally prevailed over endeavour, via a sublime piece of Raul magic.
Carlos raced down his favoured left channel and drilled a ball to the Real striker who with a trademark back-flick rolled the ball through his legs and into the Leganes goal.
Madrid were sloppy and largely non-committed in a game that the plucky lower division side deserved victory.
Luck shone on the La Liga club tonight, but the game demonstrated that although Madrid have a great side, they possess a squad that is threadbare.