Zidane blows his top after Real's 10th loss of season

MADRID • Zinedine Zidane lambasted his Real Madrid 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 LaLiga defeat of the season.

Adri Embarba scored the only goal by converting a penalty midway through the first half and Real, aside from an effort by Mariano that was correctly ruled out for offside, hardly looked like equalising.

"We did nothing today on any level, from the first minute until the last," said a furious Zidane. "I am angry because we gave an awful image of ourselves."

It was Real's first defeat since 1997 by Rayo, their far less glamorous neighbours who began the game bottom of LaLiga, and the first time in a decade that Real have lost 10 league games in a season.

Zidane returned to the club last month 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, drawing two and losing two, while failing to win any of his four away matches.

"I'll have to deal with difficult moments like today, but we cannot afford to play like this again," he said.

"Today, everything was wrong, starting with our attitude. We were not committed in any way, be it challenges or running back."

Beneath third-placed Real, LaLiga's last Champions League spot remains up for grabs after Valencia, Sevilla and Getafe all suffered surprise defeats on Sunday.

Valencia lost 1-0 at home to Eibar while Sevilla were beaten by the same scoreline away to struggling Girona. That gave Getafe the chance to pull clear in the three-way race for fourth, but they also stumbled in a 2-1 loss to Real Sociedad.

Getafe stay ahead of Sevilla only on head-to-head, with Valencia three points behind and perhaps looking to win the Europa League as their best hope of Champions League football next season.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2019, with the headline 'Zidane blows his top after Real's 10th loss of season'. Print Edition | Subscribe