Monday, May 20, 2019

Nacho: Complicated Madrid not working out for Solari

SoccerNews in La Liga 10 Mar 2019

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Nacho conceded Real Madrid’s nightmare week took a toll as they came from behind to win 4-1 at Real Valladolid in LaLiga.

Back-to-back home losses to bitter rivals Barcelona – the first in the Copa del Rey semi-final – ended Madrid’s hopes of domestic trophies this season in the space of four days before Ajax stunned the Santiago Bernabeu with a 4-1 win on Tuesday to claim a 5-3 aggregate triumph in the last 16 of the Champions League.

This sapping run did much to explain Madrid’s punchdrunk emergence at the Jose Zorrilla, as Ruben Alcaraz missed an early penalty for the hosts and Sergi Guardiola had two goals ruled out for offside before Anuar opened the scoring.

Raphael Varane capitalised on a mistake from Valladolid goalkeeper Jordi Masip to equalise and Karim Benzema gave Madrid an early second-half lead from the penalty spot.

Benzema headed home a second and Luka Modric completed the scoring after his team-mate Casemiro was sent off nine minutes from time.

“It was a crazy first half,” said Nacho, who struggled early on at the heart of an over-run defence. “We came out and were a little bit disorganised.

“It’s been a realty tough week or 10 days. You could say we were a little but fortunate in that first half.

“In the second half you could say it was the Real Madrid of old.

“It’s been a really, really complicated week and it’s not easy to live through these situations.

“I don’t think it excuses the start. It’s been complicated.

“We’re not used to a situation where we’ve got nothing to play for but we’ve forgotten the every day demands – play for this badge and this shirt.”

Speculation has mounted this week over whether the trip to Valladolid would prove Santiago Solari’s last game as head coach, with Jose Mourinho rumoured to be waiting in the wings for a Madrid return.

Asked about Solari’s future, Nacho pledged to fight for the ex-Madrid midfielder but conceded the current predicament is not ideal for anyone involved.

“It’s difficult for everybody, it’s not a situation we’re used to. We normally go on holiday at the end of the season with a trophy to celebrate,” he added.

“I feel sorry for the gaffer but things just have not been working out for us.

“Santiago Solari is our manager. We will fight to the death for him and leave everything out on the pitch.”

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