Real Madrid had to accept responsibility for failing to take their chances after a chastening 3-0 defeat to Barcelona in a Copa del Rey semi-final second leg on Wednesday, according to coach Santiago Solari.
With Vinicius Jr their chief creator, Madrid produced a dominant display at the Santiago Bernabeu but a goal eluded them and they exited the competition staring at a harsh 4-1 aggregate defeat.
“Football is also about how clinical you are, and while we were committed and played with energy, we did not take our chances,” Solari told a news conference.
“We fell with honour, but it’s difficult to talk about fairness or injustice in football.”
In contrast, Barca were ruthless down the other end, taking the lead against the run of play early in the second half with a strike from Luis Suarez, then doubling their advantage with an own goal from Raphael Varane.
Uruguayan striker Suarez then rounded off Barca’s victory in style by scoring again with a ‘Panenka’ penalty.
“They scored with their first shot, their second was an own goal, and we couldn’t score with our attempts. There’s nothing else to add,” added the Argentine coach.
“We gave everything, and we played with heart and creativity, but we go home feeling sad because we are not going to the final.”
Madrid have barely any time to dwell on the defeat, as they host the La Liga leaders again on Saturday in what is their last realistic attempt to get back into the title race, as they currently sit third, nine points adrift of the Catalans.
Still hurts but proud of the team for the way we played last night. Heads up. Big challenges ahead. pic.twitter.com/GtvNTWMi9l— Toni Kroos (@ToniKroos) February 28, 2019
“We hope that some of the shots we missed today go in on Saturday,” Solari added.
“In football, you have to get back on your feet immediately, because the next game is going to cause us problems too.”Reuters