Real Madrid tired claims Balague

Real Madrid are tired and suffering from Carlo Ancelotti’s lack of squad rotation, claims respected Spanish journalist Guillem Balague.

Los Blancos went down to a second consecutive defeat – three if the friendly with Milan in Dubai is taken into consideration – as they succumbed 2-0 to cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid in their last 16 Copa del Rey first-leg tie on Wednesday night.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Balague insisted that a failure to give players a rest coupled with a strenuous fixture list can be blamed for the dip in form over the last two games.

“I saw a stat which said that as a team Real Madrid ran less in their defeat to Valencia last week than they had at any other point of the season,” he explained.

“So we are talking of a Real Madrid side that physically seems a little affected. They are also creating less in football terms and there is less connection between the midfield and attack.

“Added to that there are players out of form. Gareth Bale is perhaps one of them and Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t been at his best for three or four weeks.

“It’s also now only one goal Madrid have scored in the last two games, which suggests they are not efficient going forward either.”