Murcia holds Madrid to 0-0 draw in Copa del Rey

Third-tier Murcia held Spanish leader Real Madrid to an embarrassing 0-0 draw Tuesday as topflight clubs entered the fourth round of the Copa del Rey.
Murcia goalkeeper Dani Hernandez made second-half saves to deny Cristiano Ronaldo, Pedro Leon and substitute Angel Di Maria to keep Madrid from taking the lead in the first leg match.
Madrid controlled the game at the Nueva Condomina stadium as it was determined not to repeat last year's 4-0 first leg defeat to minnow Alcorcon at the same stage. Third-tier clubs have eliminated Madrid in the fourth round the past two seasons.
Madrid, a 17-time winner of the domestic cup competition, hasn't won it since 1993. Record 25-time champion Barcelona played at Ceuta later.
Murcia is coached by the same Inaki Alonso who guided lower-tier Real Union to a win over Madrid two seasons ago. Alonso's team had no real scoring opportunities but held firm in defense as Madrid controlled possession and the chances, starting Ronaldo's testing shot in the seventh minute.

Madrid coach Jose Mourinho played regulars Ronaldo and Iker Casillas, and welcomed back Sergio Ramos from injury. The Portuguese coach was clear he expected performances from his team's fringe players and they responded with some good efforts early on as Sergio Canales shot over in the 10th minute and Esteban Granero hit the crossbar in the 30th.
Raul Albiol - playing for the first time this season after injury - volleyed a clear chance over the bar at the end of the first half.
Karim Benzema, meanwhile, failed to make an impact. Mourinho had seen enough by the 63rd minute and replaced the France striker with Gonzalo Higuain.
Ronaldo shrugged off the lasers being pointed into his face in the 70th to hit a powerful free kick that Hernandez dived to save. The Murcia 'keeper quickly recovered to deny Pedro Leon - who had chances throughout the match - on the rebound. Di Maria forced Hernandez into another stop soon after replacing Ronaldo. The Argentina forward unleashed a hard shot four minutes later that Hernandez smothered.
Murcia managed to create some danger in the 90th with a free kick inside Madrid's half but it failed to test Casillas once.
"It's still open," said Murcia's Miguel Albiol, brother of the Madrid defender. In the other 14 matches to be played Wednesday and Thursday, it's: Hercules vs. Malaga; Mallorca vs. Sporting Gijon; Real Union vs. Sevilla; Logrones vs. Valencia; Poli Ejido vs. Villarreal; Portugalete vs. Getafe; Xerez vs. Levante; Cordoba vs. Racing Santander; Valladolid vs. Espanyol; Real Betis vs. Zaragoza; Universidad de Las Palmas vs. Atletico Madrid; Alcorcon vs. Athletic Bilbao; Osasuna vs. Deportivo La Coruna; and Real Sociedad vs. Almeria.
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