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Notes & Quotes: December 13, 2018; Open Thread

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Solari takes responsibility for lineup against CSKA, Marcelo responds criticism about players’ attitude problems, and Pochettino answers again to managerial rumors

Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow - UEFA Champions League Group G Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Solari reacts to CSKA loss, accepts responsibility for fielding lineup

Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari reacted to Real Madrid’s 3-0 loss to CSKA, now Real’s biggest home loss in the Champions League. He took responsibility for fielding a lineup, which didn’t consist of many starters, and the loss.

“I’m sad because we’d already qualified and we wanted to close out the group stage with a good night and it was not like that.”

“We started the game well and the first 30 to 35 minutes were good. But, we were not strong in either box and they punished us.”

“I’m sad because of the result. We took risks and the game could have been different.”

“Football often depends on forcefulness and today we were not decisive at either end of the pitch.”

“The match was an opportunity to give some players some game time, either because they don’t usually get many minutes or because they have come back from injury.”

“We took the risk of fielding a line-up like that and I take responsibility for it.”

Luckily for Real, they had already clinched their spot in the Round of 16 going into Wednesday’s match against CSKA.Roma also lost to Viktoria Plzen, which meant CSKA did not qualify for the Europa League regardless of their win over Real and Real still won the group.

While the result is clearly disappointing, most of the starters were not involved in the match. Certainly, the loss would be more concerning if they had fielded their usual XI and lost by this margin. To date, the Eibar loss remains the most critical under Solari.

There is still plenty of optimism to look towards, despite an embarrassing loss. Real have battled back to the top 4 of LaLiga, now just five points behind Barcelona. They also won Group G, as mentioned before, which means not only do they advance but their opponent is from a weaker (in theory) selection than it otherwise would be if they finished in second.

Marcelo denies that Real Madrid have an attitude problem when they play

Marcelo was interviewed after the loss to CSKA on Wednesday. He denies that the loss was due to an attitude problem from the players on the pitch.

“I don’t think it’s an attitude problem.”

“We never take to the pitch with the wrong attitude but perhaps some of our play may have been interpreted like that.”

“You always have to play with desire at Real Madrid. There’s a long time until the last 16, we must improve and change the image we’ve given of ourselves. We have to be motivated and fly high at the Bernabéu.”

“We always want to win and give a good account of ourselves but sadly we weren’t able to do that. We had several chances in the first half, we had so many shots on goal, but they had three and scored three goals and they deserve the win.”

“We have to keep working hard. Every game is different, you play one way, with one team-mate or another, and these defeats happen in football.”

CSKA played their hearts out, all credit to them, they were fighting for their Europa League hopes. Real Madrid, as Marcelo and Solari have both pointed out, started out quite strong before the wheels started to come off.

Real had the chance, early on, to make the match against CSKA a great win, but it ended up turning into a poor loss and one they will have to regroup from ahead of Saturday’s match against Rayo Vallecano.

Pochettino responds yet again to Real Madrid rumors

Real Madrid and Mauricio Pochettino are both back in the rumors together again with more rumors linking him eventually joining the club as manager. Pochettino responded to these rumors with some lightheartedness.

“This type of news does not upset people or bore people.”

“I prefer that the newspapers talk about the things like you are telling me rather than talking about things like Tottenham is going to sack me or people are tired of me and we are in a difficult situation.”

“Of course if I need to choose one situation, I choose this one. I am not bored of course.”

While these of course are just rumors, ones that have been pushed for quite a while now, these talks are always going to be pushed as if it is really going to happen.

Pochettino decided to approach these latest questions regarding Real correctly, making light of them and seems to embrace these as hiring rumors rather than him being sacked by Tottenham.