MADRID (Reuters) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane lambasted his players for “doing nothing” during a limp 1-0 defeat at lowly Rayo Vallecano on Sunday which saw the deposed European champions suffer their 10th Liga defeat of the season.
Adri Embarba scored the only goal by converting a penalty midway through the first half and Madrid, aside from an effort by Mariano that was correctly ruled out for offside, rarely looked like equalising.
“We did nothing today on any level, from the first minute until the last,” a furious Zidane told reporters.
“Sometimes you are not able to score but today we didn’t even create chances, we did nothing well. We have to all be angry with our performance. I am angry because we gave an awful image of ourselves.”
It was Madrid’s first defeat since 1997 by Rayo, their far less glamorous neighbours who began the game bottom of La Liga, and the first time in a decade that Real have lost 10 games in a league season.
Zidane has only been in charge for eight matches this term, returning to the club in March following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari, 10 months after resigning from the role having won three Champions League titles in a row.
The Frenchman has won four of his eight games back, drawing two and losing two, while failing to win any of his four away.
Madrid trailed Barcelona by 12 points when Zidane returned to the club in March but they are now 18 points adrift of the Catalans, who were crowned La Liga champions on Saturday.
Real are nine points behind second-placed Atletico Madrid and look set to finish third for the second season in a row.
Zidane said he did not regret returning to a team that clearly needed extensive surgery after a harrowing season on all fronts but could not tolerate more performances like Sunday’s.
“I am not sorry I returned to this job, it’s the opposite. I know I’ll have to deal with difficult moments like today but we cannot afford to play like this again,” he told reporters.
“Today everything was wrong, starting with our attitude. We were not committed in any way, be it challenges or running back.
“There are many games which can be difficult, especially when you play against a side who run more than you and they (Rayo) played their very best, but we did nothing of what we need to do on the pitch.”
(Reporting by Richard Martin; editing by Ken Ferris)