Real Madrid saw victory escape them in the closing stages at the crunch game at Sevilla Sunday night, snapping their run of 40 matches undefeated.
Coach Zinedine Zidane said the defeat hurts, coming in the closing stages.
He lamented missing out on the three points but was quick to praise his players’ efforts.
“We came five minutes away from winning. The two teams put in a great performance and we just needed to hold on for those five minutes. It’s tough to take after the performance that we put in. The defeat is a bit harsh on us, but that’s the way things go in football and we must continue to perform as we have been up until now. We knew that the run would have to come to an end at some point”.
“We’ve now got to look forward. We knew that the run would come to an end and all of the games from now on will be tough. It’s a pity that we conceded two goals with just five minutes to go. We’re hurting after the defeat, but we’ve got to now turn our attentions to Wednesday’s game”.
Madrid will clash with Celta Vigo in the Copa Del Rey quarter-final.
The La Liga game at the Sánchez Pizjuán proved tactical in the first half before opening up in the second.
This time, the final minutes were to prove damaging for the league leaders, who having gone in front, conceded once in the 85th minute before going behind in injury time.
Captain Sergio Ramos who had in several matches previously had handed Madrid the winner in the closing minutes scored an own goal in the 85th minute, cancelling Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal in the 67th minute. Then in the injury time, Stevan Jovetic did the ultimate damage, by slotting in the winning goal for Sevilla, outside the box.
The first half finished goalless, with very few real opportunities of note. The best chance fell at the feet of Cristiano Ronaldo on 27 minutes, but Sergio Rico smothered the ball in a one-on-one with the Portuguese man off balance. Nasri also threatened eight minutes later, but his left-footed strike from the edge of the area ended up in the gloves of Keylor Navas.
As the clocked ticked down, Real Madrid continued to pour forward in search of a goal. A fine team move saw the ball played across to Dani Carvajal, who sent in a cross that nobody was able to get on the end off. However, following a series of ricochets, the ball fell to the feet of Karim Benzema, who contrived to send his effort high over the bar.
It looked increasingly as if it would only be a matter of time before the visitors made the breakthrough, and it duly materialised on 65′. A fine piece of play from Carvajal, which brought memories of his winner in the UEFA Super Cup flooding back, saw him burst into the box, before being felled by Sergio Rico. Cristiano Ronaldo made no mistake from the subsequent spot-kick to put the Whites into the driving seat.
It looked very much as if the league leaders were set to claim another three points, but Sevilla pushed hard in the final minutes and restored parity on 85′. Pablo Sarabia swung across a free-kick from the right flank, and in his efforts to clear the danger, Sergio Ramos sent the ball into his own net. In injury time, the Andalusians went on to secure the spoils courtesy of Stevan Jovetic’s slotted finish from the edge of the area.
Attention in the Madrid camp now turn to their Copa del Rey quarter-final first-leg clash against Celta.