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Pellegrino refuses to rule out a cup upset from Leganés

Pellegrino refuses to rule out a cup upset from Leganés

CD Leganés coach Mauricio Pellegrino is refusing to throw in the towel to Real Madrid, despite their 3-0 deficit in their last-16 tie of the Copa del Rey.

Los Pepineros lost last week’s first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu, despite starting off the match as the stronger of the two teams.

But Leganés couldn’t find the net and, to add to their frustration, the referee waved away two penalty appeals before awarding Madrid one when Gerard Gumbau fouled Alvaro Odriozola.

Sergio Ramos then sent keeper Ivan Cuellar the wrong way to put Madrid in the lead with two second-half goals from Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius Junior sealing the win for Santiago Solari’s side.

Speaking ahead to the return leg on Wednesday, Pellegrino revealed that the focus will be on winning the match first of all and he urged his players to retain full concentration throughout.

“We will try to show the best version of ourselves to create scoring opportunities and take them,” said Pellegrino in a press conference.

“First, we must win the game and so the focus will be on scoring the first goal. Hopefully, we can take the match to the point of progressing.

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“We must improve on our second half performance at the Bernabéu. The result was hard to take given all we did and for what we showed in the first half. We’ll try to increase our concentration.”

New signing Vasyl Kravets could make his debut at Butarque for Leganés after training with his new teammates.

On the other hand though, forward Guido Carrillo will not feature due to a sprained ankle with midfielder Rubén Pérez also doubtful with further tests to be undertaken before Pellegrino makes a final decision.

The Leganés and Madrid second leg match will begin at 20:30 (UK time) on Wednesday.