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50-50 Challenge: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

El Clasico 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Nov 9, 2006

Espanyol coach hits out at 'foolish' King's Cup exit

MADRID, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Espanyol coach Ernesto Valverde said he felt humiliated after third division Rayo Vallecano beat the King's Cup holders 1-0 at home in the fourth round on Wednesday to knock them out 2-1 on aggregate.

'We were made to look foolish but this is football and it isn't good enough to have a better team on paper if you don't prove that you are on the pitch,' Valverde said after the game.

'Upsets happen every now and then, and it was Espanyol's turn this time.'

The Catalans needed a twice-taken penalty in time added on to earn a 1-1 draw from the first leg two weeks ago, and were second best again on Wednesday as Rayo's Miguel Michel scored the only goal of the game in the 56th minute.

Although Espanyol beat Real Zaragoza to lift the Cup back in April they only just avoided relegation from the Primera Liga last season with a stoppage time goal in their last game.

Valverde replaced Miguel Angel Lotina as coach but with a UEFA Cup campaign to contend with as well Espanyol have only managed one win in all competitions from their last eight games.

His side trooped off the pitch on Wednesday barracked from all sides by irate fans, while the press speculated over Valverde's future at the helm.

'I am the one who is responsible for our Cup exit. I have always felt supported since I have been here but all coaches know and accept what is in play in every game,' he added.

Espanyol, who are 15th in the league, visit bottom club Real Sociedad on Sunday.