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Lopetegui: “All we lacked was the final goal”

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Athletic Club v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui wasn’t very disappointed with the performance of his players after the 1-1 draw in San Mames against Athletic Bilbao. Los Blancos played a fairly poor game yet Lopetegui acknowledged that San Mames is a very tough venue to play as the away team.

All we were lacking was that final goal. We created a lot of chances and had double the amount of attempts of our opposition. They performed very well, just as we’d expected with lots of man-marking. In the second half we had a lot of chances to win the game. It was a very intense and ferocious affair, typical of Athletic,” said the coach during the press conference.

“It’s not a question of intensity. We were not clinical enough in taking our chances in terms of the game they wanted to play. They’re not an easy side to play against, it’s a tough place to come. In the second half we were able to read things better and we got the equaliser as a result,” he added.

Lopetegui made some questionable decisions with his substitutions. taking Modric and Bale out of the game when Los Blancos still needed to score one goal to get the win.

“We made the changes we were ready to make. We created several opportunities. We were gradually able to get up to the pace that they demand of you. We were the better side in the second half, got the goal and could easily have scored more, but we lacked that clinical edge and we go away with a point,” he explained.

“He’s someone that we could have turned to. Gareth needed to come off on that wing and we decided to bring Lucas on to keep the energy levels up down that flank and we went on to create a number of chances down that side,” added Lopetegui when asked about why he chose Lucas Vazquez instead of Mariano late in the game.

Real Madrid will host Roma in the first game of the 2018-19 Champions League season this Wednesday.