SEVILLE (Reuters) – Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui has bemoaned the side’s inability to carry out his game plan of pressing their opponents high up the pitch after they crashed to a limp 3-0 La Liga defeat at Sevilla on Wednesday.
Sevilla blitzed the European champions with Portuguese striker Andre Silva scoring twice in four first half minutes and Wissam Ben Yedder adding another as Real conceded three league goals before the break for the first time since 2003.
“We didn’t play as we wanted and we paid for it in the first half, conceding two goals in quick succession. We came here with a plan of pressing them and we didn’t do it as we’d have liked to, that’s clear,” Lopetegui told a news conference.
“In the second half, we matched them for play and had chances but couldn’t score. In the end, you can say it was a very bad performance from us and a very good one from Sevilla.”
Real’s sixth defeat in seven league visits to Sevilla’s Sanchez Pizjuan stadium also prevented Lopetegui’s side from taking advantage of title rival Barcelona’s unexpected 2-1 defeat at struggling Leganes.
Real have three days to recover from the humbling defeat before Saturday’s crunch local derby against Atletico Madrid, who have climbed up the table on the back of two straight wins.
“It was a difficult game and in the first half they played with more intensity and we could not match them,” Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said.
“The derby is a huge game and you never want to lose it, the pressure always exists in those games and the fact that we lost today doesn’t change that. We have to lift ourselves up, prepare for Saturday and try to win.”
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by John O’Brien)