Real can't hide from harsh Celta reality

Author

27 January, 2017

However, Real were unable to turn around a 2-1 first-leg deficit against Celta Vigo and drew 2-2 at Balaidos stadium on Wednesday evening to exit the competition at the quarterfinal stage.

It was the 62nd minute when Real Madrid equalized, courtesy of a direct free-kick by Cristiano Ronaldo.

But Danish midfielder Daniel Wass restored Celta's lead with a low shot from the edge of the area in the 85th.

The European champions are still in pole position to win a first league title since 2012, leading nearest challengers Sevilla by a point and third-placed Barcelona by two with a game in hand on both teams. Real will need to score at least two away goals to have any chance of making it through to the next round of the cup competition.

"After playing how we did I have little to reproach my players for", Zidane told reporters on Wednesday.

"We deserved a really happy moment like this, eliminating a rival like Real Madrid is not easy and it was great to see how happy the fans were", Celta captain Hugo Mallo said. If we keep working hard we're going to solve this.

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"Throughout the season players will get injured and now we have to continue with those that are ready".

Real are in Vigo trailing 2-1 from the first-leg.

'Maybe if we played a few more minutes we could have won it. Obviously, the striker is not the player to be blamed by the knock-out but Los Blancos are having problems in the attacking line, as they are not converting their chances. "We produced a disciplined performance, full of character and it was a shame that we didn't manage to achieve what we wanted", the Real Madrid boss said in the press conference after the game. I'm just focussing on the team and that's what we have to do now.

Barca's mini-collapse came later in the season last year, but, after a 39-game unbeaten run, they lost three La Liga games in a row for the first time in 13 years and were also sent packing from the Champions League by Atletico in April as fatigue took its toll.

Real Madrid, who have wobbled at the start of 2017 following a brilliant 2016, will look to return to winning ways in La Liga when they host Real Sociedad on Sunday night.


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