Sports

We did everything but score - Zidane unable to explain Madrid loss

We did everything but score - Zidane unable to explain Madrid loss

Zidane could afford to rest his superstars with one eye on La Liga and the Champions League last 16 with a clash against Paris Saint-Germain next month.

For the first time in almost two decades, Real Madrid is likely going to have to fight for a top-four finish, and the Champions League spot that comes with it.

Sure enough, all of the shots that sailed high and wide of the Villarreal goal came back to haunt Los Blancos, as manager Javier Calleja's side capitalized on one of its few attacking opportunities to get the win courtesy of Fornals.

Real Madrid which has suffered runs of poor performance recently slipped to Villarreal at home on Saturday, handing Villarreal their first ever victory at the Bernabeu. But also, today, I think it was a little bit of bad luck, I don't know.

Nacho insists that he and his teammates "are very excited to keep fighting" in the La Liga title race, as he responds to suggestions that Real Madrid have given up.

Asked about his players' mentality, Zidane conceded confidence is low.

After Gareth Bale saw his header correctly ruled out for offside, Asenjo saved superbly from Marcelo's thunderous drive and Ronaldo's free kick, before also denying Ronaldo from close range on the stroke of half-time.

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Real Madrid still won the Champions League that year.

Fornals provided the moment of the half when his exquisite through-ball foxed the Real defence and reached Carlos Bacca, but the Colombian was squeezed out by Keylor Navas.

Costa was suspended because of a red card for celebrating too close to the fans in the previous game.

Second-place Atletico Madrid overcame Diego Costa's absence to beat Eibar 1-0 and move within six points of leader Barcelona. While 5th placed Villareal is just a point adrift.

Ruben couldn't do much to stop Valencia's second goal, however, as Rodrigo's shot from outside the area deflected off a defender.

Cristhian Stuani's penalty midway through the first half was all that separated the teams at the interval, but Girona went to town after the break as Las Palmas crumbled to a 14th defeat in 19 league matches this term.


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