SEVILLE (Reuters) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was fiercely critical of his side after they were beaten 2-1 away by Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday, describing the performance as the worst of the campaign.
“Today we lacked everything, it was our worst game of the season,” Zidane told a news conference after the loss left Real trailing leaders Barcelona by two points with 11 games left.
“We lacked energy, creativity, possession and aggression. We didn’t do anything well in the first or second half. We made lots of errors, gave the ball away a lot and when you are not at your very best things can get very complicated.”
Madrid had the chance to underline their title credentials after beating Barca 2-0 last week in the ‘Clasico’ to top the table but were outplayed by Betis from the start of the game.
They were fortunate to head into the halftime break with the game level after Karim Benzema’s penalty cancelled out Sidnei’s thumping opener, but Betis continued to dominate the play and snatched a deserved late winner through Cristian Tello.
“We didn’t deserve to win. It’s a real blow and we have to analyse everything,” Zidane added.
“We had a very bad day but that can always happen. We should not be driven crazy by this defeat but we cannot be happy.
“We’re going to move on from this and we know we’ll find solutions as until now we have had a good season. We have strengths and weaknesses but we can turn things around.”
Real midfielder Casemiro said the defeat could mean the difference between his side winning a first league championship since 2017 or losing out again to Barcelona, who are bidding to claim the trophy for the third season in a row.
“This defeat could cost us the title although we need to think game-by-game, ” he said.
“If you want to win the league you have to play well in every game and today we did not play well. They played much better than us and all we can do is congratulate Betis and keep working because we did not play how we needed to.”
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Ken Ferris)
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