Veteran defender admits Real Madrid cannot afford such slip-ups after Spanish giants squander 1-0 lead to lose 2-3 away at Sevilla - their first defeat in La Liga season
Madrid: Rafael Benitez lamented his side's inability to react after going behind for the first time this season as he suffered his first defeat as Madrid boss 2-3 at Sevilla on Sunday.
Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos is down with a shoulder injury after scoring his team's opening goal against Sevilla in a La Liga match on Sunday. Pic/AFP
Defeat leaves Madrid trailing Barcelona by three points at the top of the table with the two set to face each other next time out at the Santiago Bernabeu on November 21.
Flying start for Real
Real had got off to a flying start in Seville as Sergio Ramos' spectacular overhead kick fired the visitors into a deserved lead. However, after Ramos had gone off with the recurrence of a shoulder problem, Madrid fell apart as Ciro Immobile levelled before the break. Ever Banega and Fernando Llorente seal the win for Sevilla before James Rodriguez pulled a goal back in stoppage time.
"I think we played very well for 30 minutes. We had a lot of control in every part of the game," said Benitez.
"Then we allowed them to score from a set-piece and that conditioned the game. In the second-half we started well again, but from the second goal we started to commit errors and they took advantage of that to score the third goal. We scored again at the last minute but it wasn't enough."
When Banega finished off a brilliant team move also involving Immobile and Yevhen Konoplyanka on the hour mark it was the first time Madrid had even been behind in 15 games this season.
Ramos had to watch on in anguish as his side threw away the lead and could now be a doubt for the Barca clash after a disrupted two months since he first suffered a dislocated shoulder against Shakhtar Donetsk. The defender is almost certain to miss Spain's friendly matches against England and Belgium in the next week.
Ramos admitted Madrid can't afford more slip-ups, if they are to land their second league title in eight years.
"It's clear we didn't play well in the second-half. This is one of the hardest places to come due to their fans and the quality of Sevilla. You also have to highlight how well Sevilla played as well as a bad match on our part.
In the second-half they had control of possession and managed to take their chances. It is in games like this that you lose the league. We lost three very important points. Now we must turn the corner, the Clasico always carries a lot of expectations but above all it's an important game for us to win."