Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has said he has no explanation after slipping to another defeat against Villarreal on Saturday afternoon.
Madrid’s 1-0 defeat to Javi Calleja’s Villarreal on Saturday leaves them fourth place in the league standings and a massive 19 points behind leaders Barcelona.
“The first thing I’ll say that it’s difficult because we did everything,” he said after the game.
“We had many chances, but the ball didn’t want to go in and I have no explanation for it. It’s a difficult run and gone on for a while, but it’s what it is.
“I can’t criticise my players. The only thing I see is that it’s a bad time for us. It’s a difficult defeat because we didn’t deserve it.
“We have to look for the positives, and one is that we have a match in three days. It’s complicated, but it’s what we have to do.
“There are many who say it’s bad luck, but it’s mostly because the ball doesn’t want to go in.
“We tried in every way, but it just didn’t want to go in and I can’t explain it. We’ll end this bad run. That’s football.”
After a poor run of results – including a humbling defeat to bitter rivals Barcelona, as well as a draw to second division side Numancia – Zidane was already under heavy scrutiny coming into the fixture.
His players, however, were bright and purposeful from the beginning of this game, and were denied a goal when Bale was deemed to have drifted into an offside position when he nodded home Cristiano Ronaldo’s headed assist following a corner.
Marcelo and Ronaldo both stung the hands of Asenjo with powerful efforts midway through the first half, as the hosts drew closer to finding a breakthrough goal.
Ronaldo narrowly struck wide on two more occasions either side of Carlos Bacca’s low strike for Villarreal, which tested goalkeeper Navas for the first time.
Ronaldo – Real’s most likely scorer throughout – came closest on the 45-minute mark, but Asenjo’s miraculous save kept the scores level at the interval.
After the break, Villarreal almost netted themselves, but Denis Cheryshev – formerly of Real Madrid – dragged his shot wide of the post.
Toni Kroos and Luka Modric failed to snatch a deciding goal in what was becoming another frustrating day for Zidane’s men.
With the final whistle drawing ever closer, Villarreal pounced to steal an unlikely victory with a breath-taking counter-attack.
Cheryshev was released on the left-hand side following some neat Villarreal passes, and the Russian squared to Enes Ünal, whose saved effort broke to Fornals who composedly chipped the ball over Navas from the edge of the penalty area.
The result means Calleja’s team climb to fifth place in La Liga, and are now only a point behind Madrid, who have a game in hand over the triumphant visitors.