Carlo Ancelotti has admitted that Real Madrid are ‘confused’ following their 1-0 defeat at Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Saturday.
Artiz Aduriz’s goal on 26 minutes at San Mames, coupled with Los Blancos’ failure to launch a comeback, blew the title race in Spain wide open, and the Coach bemoaned a “lack of clarity” in his side’s attacking game.
“The game was even. Athletic were compact, defended well and scored,” he said after the match.
“Our problem is not a defensive one, but rather an attacking one. We haven’t found solutions.
“In two games, we’ve only scored a penalty. This is what we need to fix. We lack efficiency.
“We played too individually and sought individual solutions, when we should’ve played faster, with less touches.
“It’s confusing what we’re doing [at the moment]. We’re playing too slowly, without good ball circulation, and the strikers can’t find spaces. It’s a timing issue.
“[On substitutions], I wanted to give freshness to the team with Jese [Rodriguez] and create more width.
“I took off [Toni] Kroos because he received a [yellow] card. The same went for [Asier] Illarramendi.
“We pressed them and played in the attacking half, but the problem is a lack of clarity in our attacking game, not the physical.
“We gifted them the match. They scored against us in the first half, yet we weren’t able to do so in the second.
“I’m most responsible. Others can say the team [are at fault], but this one’s mine.
“The team are playing badly and the League has become more difficult, but it’s still not over. We’ll try to fix this quickly.
“[Our attitude] isn’t the problem. There’s a glitch in our attacking game.
“There’s not a single problem [with Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo].
“They didn’t have a good game but the blame doesn’t just lie with them three. Everyone’s responsible for [our breakdown] in attack.
“In regards to our environment and motivation, everything is controlled. The squad are close together and focused on their objectives.
“Now we must fix these problems. We have to play better.”