Real Madrid lost 1-0 to Villarreal on Sunday in a game where coach Zinedine Zidane made several changes to his starting XI. The loss leaves Los Blancos seven points behind La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, who have played two fewer games.
Despite the defeat, Zidane defended his team’s performance, stating that they had created enough chances to win the game. However, he acknowledged that Real Madrid’s focus was now on the UEFA Champions League and the Copa del Rey, with the league title looking increasingly unlikely.
Real Madrid’s next game is against Liverpool in the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday, and Zidane is expected to field his strongest possible team. The Frenchman also stated that the Copa del Rey semifinal against Athletic Bilbao on Thursday was another crucial game for his team.
Real Madrid’s recent form has been inconsistent, with the team winning just two of their last five league games. Zidane’s side have also struggled in front of goal, scoring just six times in their last five league outings.
The loss to Villarreal puts further pressure on Zidane and his players, who will be aiming to salvage their season by winning one or both of the cup competitions they are still involved in. Real Madrid are the most successful team in Champions League history, having won the competition a record 13 times.