Last night Real Madrid lost against Levante. Simple as that. Honestly, we can complain endlessly about the many negative that we saw last night, but I implore you to look at things from a different perspective. I mean, look people, I know it's hard to believe but it's not the end of the world. The apocalypse hasn't befallen Madrid or anything. Our players did all they could against a well organized, defensive Levante side, a well laid trap, a ridiculous referee, and overgrown grass. It just didn't go our way.
The biggest positive we can draw from the match was our flaws. Almost all of Madrid's problems were displayed in the fixture, from defenders being out of position, poor finishing and a tendency to be drawn into silly challenges. Mourinho and the team will look at this match, analyze it, and hopefully find a solution so it doesn't happen again.
But of course, the press don't see things the way I do. So they went ahead and ran with it. However, what really matters is what the coach and footballers say, and say things they did.
The "Special One" had plenty to say about Kaka's performance and why Cristiano didn't start, however, the most important points he made were about the match itself which I've posted below. You can read the entire interview here.
"...We played well in the beginning...We had great chances to score and we failed to capitalise on them because the pitch was in bad shape and Levante defended fiercely. ...."
"All points are important and it's better to lose one game than to draw two... We'll be in a better position if we exchange this defeat with a reduced number of draws. Every game and every point at stake is important."
"My player knows about these situations and fell for the trap. That's why I make him partly responsible for the defeat and I don't have a problem doing so. But the referee is also to blame. It's too much to forgive a penalty and a red card. It is also our fault, mine and my players'. An important part of the meeting I had with my players today covered similar images to those of Khedira's red card. I didn't think one of my players could fall for such a trap. You prepare for games as best as you can and this is the repsonse you get. It's normal on one hand because we don't train or recreate situations like this. Players have to be sufficiently intelligent to know how to react and to avoid these situations. You also have to feel it in your gut if the ref will allow it."
"I don't want to detract merit from Levante, who always do very well when they are allowed to play their game at their stadium. I congratulate them for being clever. They know how to waste time and how to not give the ball back. They know this because it's also part of football. Our players don't feel comfortable in this sort of habitat and Levante know it."
Hopefully Mourinho can rally his troops and lift their spirits before the next match.
"It's a shame to lose the match and drop three points. It's logical for inferiority to manifest itself when you're one man down; it's harder to reach the goal and score. We knew it wouldn't be easy. You can win or lose the league here. We wanted to take three points and we failed to take them. The only thing we can do is disconnect and look ahead. Opponents make things difficult for us; today proved this."
(Emphasis is mine)
Its seems that when things go wrong, the defenders step up to give their thoughts as two of Real's back line also gave their thoughts on the fixture as well as the referee's controversial performance:
"The red card conditioned the match. Levante's game improved and they made us suffer. We have to be more compacted to avoid suffering so much. We had many chances to score and we played well until the red card. They were lucky later on and scored."
"The ref played a key role. He punished us with fouls we didn't make. We nevertheless know football's like that. We have to continue working till the end. Referees have to do their job and they didn't tonight. Before Khedira's red card there had been a foul on Di Maria that the linesman failed to award. The referee has to be fair to both sides. We try to play good football, but sometimes we're not allowed to."
The defenders and the coach gave their reasons. What is important is that the team picks themselves up in time for the next match against Racing Santander on Wednesday. One point from the top isn't a huge gap contrary to popular belief.
It's a shame that we can go from watching a brilliant match (Chelsea vs Manchester United) then watch an ugly one. But that is football. It's about winning and losing. It's a competition. And if as fans we're unable to move on from this defeat then we'll never enjoy the sport itself. If you believe this little philosophy, I guess you're in for a treat because maybe "Hay Liga" after all.