Alvaro Arbeloa believes that Cristiano Ronaldo’s late goal away to Celta Vigo last night is key for Real Madrid’s hopes of winning the Cup tie.
Los Blancos fell to a 2-1 defeat at Balaidos on Wednesday evening, but take back to the Bernabeu an away goal for the second leg of this Last 16 tie, thanks to Ronaldo.
“The goal from Cristiano Ronaldo keeps us in the running to qualify, although it was a shame not to score another,” Arbeloa reflected.
“They made it tough and were very effective. Celta plays football very well and it was a complicated match.
“This year the other teams are really putting the pressure on in our away matches. We’re confident we’ll fight our way back in the Bernabeu with the support of the fans.”
Madrid played with Raphael Varane in attack for the final quarter of the match, but only because he was injured and all three substitutions had been made.
“His injury practically left us with 10 players with only 20 minutes to go and this was a bit of an upset. The team had to make a huge effort.
“It was a different Real Madrid playing in the last 20 minutes. Each player has to reflect on their performance and know that we can do better.
“The team made an enormous effort at the end. We scored and we could have made it a draw.”
It is yet another defeat on the road for Jose Mourinho’s team this year, and Arbeloa was asked why there has been a decline.
“We’re going through a difficult moment where we’re struggling in our away matches. We resolve the matches cleanly in the Bernabeu and it’s time to think about where we’re going wrong.
“When you lose a match, something has gone wrong. When things aren’t going well we have to be united, work hard and make an effort to improve.”