Real Madrid relaxed, admits Zidane after Sevilla defeat

Posted January 18, 2017

Real Madrid's 40-game unbeaten run came to an end on Sunday night, after they were beaten 2-1 by Sevilla, at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.

Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty put Madrid in front 23 minutes from time, but Sergio Ramos's own goal levelled before Jovetic, making his La Liga debut on loan from Inter Milan, curled home from 25 yards.

The former Sevilla defender had been the cause of controversy during the week for his celebrations after scoring a penalty against his former club in the King's Cup, and he became the protagonist again when he headed into his own net to give Sevilla the equalizer.

This time round, they were on the receiving end as a Sergio Ramos own goal five minutes from time and Stevan Jovetic's stoppage time victor on his La Liga debut breathed new life into the title race.

The result was Real's first loss in a competitive match since last April and saw their lead at the top of the table reduced to one point by second-placed Sevilla.

"We lost the game in a five-minute spell", said Zidane. "We lost a game, something that happens, and now we have to make sure that it doesn't happen again".

But both moves collapsed at the last minute, and the 30 year old managed to become into a key player for Real Madrid during the 2015-16 season, filling the gap left by legend Iker Casillas between the sticks while helping Los Blancos to conquer their 11th Champions League crown.

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The two other heavyweights of Spain Barcelona and Athletico Madrid have earned victory over Las Palmas and Real Betis, respectively. But Zidane's tactical change had worked well for 85 minutes.

"We did very well with the wing-backs".

Zidane introduced a new three-man backline for the game - with Raphael Varane, Nacho and Sergio Ramos - and employed five in midfield with Marcelo and Daniel Carvajal flanking the trio of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

"It is a shame". It's hard, after the game we played a defeat is a bit tough, but that's it.

Despite Sevilla losing just three of their 18 league matches, Barcelona don't consider Jorge Sampaoli's team as their biggest challengers in the title race.

"It has to stimulate the team". Sevilla will be encouraged by their play against Madrid a few days ago, while Real will be bolstered by the return of the best player on the planet.