REAL MADRID 4 - ATHLETIC 2
Valverde: "We feel this was a missed opportunity"
"We were guilty of naivety at the end of the first half. We were in the game until then," the Athletic coach said after his side's loss at the Bernabéu.
Champions League: “Villarreal have pushed a long way up the table but we are thinking along those lines. We knew it would be difficult to win here. The spirit of this club is always to move forward.”
Excessive scoreline: “That’s the feeling I have but we were playing against an opponent with an extraordinary attacking ability. We were guilty of naivety at the end of the first half. We were in the game until then. The scoreline shows that you have to do a lot to win here.”
Team: “We were focused from the start. We looked for an equalizer and I think we were influencing the game, but possession isn’t any use if you don’t use it to score goals. I thought we’d be going into the break needing a goal but we were unbalanced in the last minute of the first half. Instead of tightening up and running down the clock… that goal finished us off, because after that we had to play more openly.”
Benítez’s Real and Zidane’s: I don’t see a lot of differences. It’s still early to assess the work of a coach. We’ll see his influence in time. He has maintained what they already were. They can kill you on the break. At San Mamés were focused and again they beat us at the end.”
Aduriz for Spain: “That’s not a question for me. The national team manager has his job and I have mine. He’s had an amazing season.”
Match: “We feel as though we passed up a great opportunity but I have no ‘buts’ about our attitude. It has given us results. We won’t be downbeat ahead of Thursday.”
Absences: “We were missing important players but I’m happy with our performance. Eraso ran himself into the floor. We didn’t notice the absences much.”