Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane refused to criticise his players, as they battled to a 1-0 win against rivals Atletico Madrid.
Karim Benzema's second half goal secured a vital win for Los Blancos, and solidified their lead over Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table.
However the hosts struggled during the first half, as Diego Simeone's side caused problems for the Real Madrid defence, but Zidane insisted that he would shoulder the burden for poor performances.
"It was a complicated game against a good opponent," he told a post match interview with Diario AS
."I am pleased with the win, but we had to improve in the second half."
"I take my share of responsibility for the first half, as we did not perform."
"I do not normally like to make changes at the break, but I felt I had to do something."
Zidane opted to change both tactics and personnel at half time, switching to a 4-3-3 system, and bringing on Vinicius Junior and Lucas Vazquez, in place of Isco and Toni Kroos.
However, Zidane insisted that the two players were not to blame for the substitutions, and that it could have been other players that were withdrawn after the first 45 minutes.
Real Madrid will have their six point lead cut back to three tomorrow, if Barcelona win at home to Levante, and Zidane's side face a tough run of games in February, as they take on Osasuna, Celta Vigo and Levante in domestic action, as well as a Champions League clash with Manchester City.