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Marcelo refuses to blame Europe for league setback

Marcelo rejected suggestions that Real Madrid’s European exploits played a part in the club’s misfiring 2-2 draw with Valencia.

Real emerged at the Bernabeu buoyed by both Tuesday night’s 4-0 UEFA Champions League semi-final thrashing of Bayern Munich and weekend slip ups by title rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.Barcelona drew with Getafe at the Camp Nou on Saturday before Atletico fell to a 2-0 defeat against bogey team Levante on Sunday afternoon.

Those results presented Carlo Ancelotti’s team with a golden opportunity to take the initiative in an intriguing La Liga title race – a simple equation of four wins from as many games would be enough to secure the championship.

But a spirited Valencia display means they no longer have that luxury and might now have to rely on Barca beating Atletico on the final day to sneak into first place.

“It had nothing to do with wear from the Champions League,” Marcelo was quotes as saying by AS.

“We have given everything but we couldn’t win, but at least we drew.

“We don’t look at the matches of other teams. Now we have to win ours anyway. Today we had to win and we couldn’t.

“The league is a very tough tournament. Everything can change at any time. We had an opportunity to close the gap but we’ve failed.”

Valencia twice led through Jeremy Mathieu and former Real youth product Daniel Parejo, but defender Sergio Ramos netted his fourth goal of a remarkable week before Cristiano Ronaldo atoned for a host of near misses with an inventive injury-time volley.

Sun 4 May, 2014
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