Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane denied he was worried about his team’s title chances but admitted to a “bad day” after Sunday’s shock 2-1 defeat at Girona left them already eight points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona.
Madrid seemed set for for a 14th straight away league victory when Isco scored after just 11 minutes — on a counter attack after Girona wing-back Pablo Maffeo had just hit the post at the other end.
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The Catalan side continued to unsettle Madrid’s defence and hit the woodwork again before half-time, then turned the game on its head with two goals in four minutes early in the second half.
First the visitors were easily opened up through the centre and Christian Stuani showed lovely quick feet before finishing clinically, before strike partner Portu turned home [from an offside position] Maffeo’s drive from close range.
The Los Blancos coach told the postgame news conference that there was still a long way to go and last year’s champions could still turn things around.
“We lost three points today, unexpectedly, but that does not change anything,” Zidane said. “We know we can turn this around, we will have better days, and the other teams will drop points too over the season. We want to win La Liga, it is our day to day. There is still a very long way to go, so I am not worried.”
Madrid midfielder Casemiro had told beIN Sports after the game that Madrid “did not play well” and must “work harder,” but Zidane said he disagreed.
“I do not agree that we played badly today,” Zidane said. “All the players made an effort. Then there were details, the rival’s first goal came from a throw-in and we lost concentration and did not defend well. The second goal, the same, with a rebound. We ran until the end. It was not a lack of effort.”