Ronaldo plays down talk of crisis

Real star acknowledges bad run but insists loss doesn't reflect their performance

It wasn't the scoreline that set off the alarm bells but rather, the meek surrender of Real Madrid as they went down 3-1 to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Add to the demoralising Champions League defeat the wretched start to their domestic campaign, and it's clear the defending European and La Liga champions are in deep trouble.

But Real superstar Cristiano Ronaldo dismissed suggestions of a crisis in the camp after scoring his sixth goal in this term's Champions League and 111th overall.

It proved nothing more than a consolation goal in a match which saw Spurs race to a 3-0 lead via Dele Alli's double and Christian Eriksen's strike.

But Ronaldo insisted that Spurs' opening goal should have been disallowed for offside, and that the officials' inability to spot the infringement changed the nature of the match.

The Portuguese said: "It was a real blow to lose 3-1 today, and in my opinion, it's not a fair reflection of what happened on the pitch, because their first goal was offside."

The defeat left Real second in Group H, three points behind Tottenham who will seal top spot if they win one of their last two games away to Borussia Dortmund or home to Apoel Nicosia.

Zinedine Zidane's side also trail Barcelona by eight points after 10 games in La Liga following a shock defeat by Girona at the weekend - a result that means Real have suffered their worst domestic start for five years.

Ronaldo, who had never been on the losing side against Tottenham, including in 11 matches against the London club for Manchester United, added that it is impossible to stay at the top level without suffering a dip in form every now and then.

He said: "You can't always be at your best - there are good moments and bad moments.

"We're relaxed. What counts is what happens at the end (of the season), not what happens now. We need to stay calm.

"We're not in the best moment - we have to accept that and keep working. We could lose three, four, five games and I still wouldn't think there's a crisis.

"We're in a bad run and we want to change things. We've got a long way to go in order to do that but I'm sure we will.

"Football is about winning but people forget the good things this side did a few months ago. I'm relaxed.

"I don't think it's a question of attitude. We won't hide, we'll work to turn this around."

Real playmaker Luka Modric, however, insisted that his former team fully deserved the victory.

Said Modric: "I think Tottenham were a much better team, it's as simple as that, they deserved to win."

Zidane said before kick-off that he relished the challenge of recovering from setbacks.

He could not have envisaged his side being so comprehensively outplayed, though, as Real lost for only the second time in 22 European fixtures.

Like Ronaldo, he said there was no need to panic, even if he knows the headlines will not make pleasant reading.

"You always ask me if I'm worried, but I'm not worried. I'm never going to be, whatever happens," the Frenchman said.

"We're not in a good moment, but there's time to change that.

"Of course, the dressing room isn't happy. It's a tough defeat for us today, but at the same time, it's deserved. Tottenham deserved to win.

"We know how to change this. We're going to change this. We have to ride this out."

Zidane refuted suggestions his side, run ragged at times by Spurs, were suffering physically.

"We're definitely not in a bad state physically. We're at the level we are. Perhaps, we're not at our best because of two defeats, but physically I don't think we're in a bad way." - WIRE SERVICES

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