Madrid, Nov 9 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez tasted defeat in an official game for the first time this season as his side crashed to a 3-1 defeat away to Sevilla in La Liga.
Despite taking the lead thanks to a spectacular overhead kick from defender Sergio Ramos, who had to leave the pitch afterwards after suffering a relapse of his shoulder injury, Benitez’s side were overwhelmed by a rival keen to put recent disappointments in the past, reports Xinhua.
The result sees Real Madrid lose the leadership of the La Liga, to be replaced by FC Barcelona, who now have a three point lead going into the international break and it has escaped nobodies’ attention that the next game is the “Clasico” between the two bitter rivals.
“We have time to recover the players who are still out injured. This was a completely different game from the Clasico and I hope the team responds well after this defeat,” said Benitez, who was irritated at the way his side lost their habitual midfield control.
“We were unable to dominate the situation. It seemed as through we had the game under control at the start, but our mistakes allowed Sevilla to grow in confidence,” said the Real Madrid coach, who believed his players should have built on their early lead.
“For 30 very good minutes when we controlled the game in every sense but later on we allowed them to get back into it. We started the second half well but then starting making mistakes,” he lamented.
The only bright spot for Benitez was the return of forward James Rodriguez after almost two months out with a muscle injury.
“He’s a great player in the final meters of the pitch but he is not fully match-fit and will need more work to get back to his top level,” said the coach.