first loss in 40 games brings real madrid grief
MADRID — Real Madrid's first loss after a 40-game unbeaten streak was enough to put coach Zinedine Zidane on the defensive. Two days after Madrid's record was halted by a 2-1 defeat at Sevilla in the Spanish league, Zidane was forced to defend some of his players against criticism from fans and media.
Most comments were aimed at goalie Keylor Navas, who failed to stop Sevilla's injury-time winner Sunday. Navas got to Stevan Jovetic's long-range shot but was unable to keep the ball from going in.
"He's having a really good season," Zidane said on Tuesday. "You can always ask for more, but if up until now we had gone 40 games without losing, it's for a reason, and he has been there all the way."
England: Sam Allardyce secured his first victory as Crystal Palace manager by reaching the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win over third-tier Bolton. Palace next hosts Manchester City in the FA Cup, but more important for Allardyce, who replaced fired Alan Pardew in December, is producing a win in the Premier League. Palace is out of the relegation zone only due to its superior goal difference. … The Football Association fined Manchester City defender Bacary Sagna around $50,000 for an Instagram post complaining about a referee after a 2-1 win against Burnley on Jan. 2.
Alpine skiing: Two-time Olympic champion Ted Ligety of the United States said he will have back surgery that will keep him out of this season's World Cup but he did not expect the procedure to jeopardize his chances to compete at the 2018 Olympics.