Football

Zidane: We weren't clever

Real Madrid suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at Valencia yesterday morning (Singapore time), in a display which Zinedine Zidane admitted his players lacked concentration.

The loss was only their second in La Liga this season.

Said the Real coach: "The truth is we lost the game in 10 minutes. We started well with the ball, we had chances but we made two errors and they scored two goals. We had 80 minutes to rescue the game and tried but we lacked many things today.

"We had the chance to pick up points and we didn't do it. I hope this has no psychological effect on us. We need to be more focused in future games because if you don't concentrate you get punished. In those 10 minutes we weren't clever or ready."

Valencia were 2-0 up inside the first ninth minutes, through Simone Zaza and Fabian Orellana's goals.

Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back for Real just before half-time, but the visitors couldn't find the equaliser.

Real remained top on 52 points, one ahead of Barcelona and three clear of Sevilla in third. They have a game in hand on both clubs.

The win extended Valencia's unbeaten run to three in the league, and gave them some breathing space in what has been a dismal term.

Valencia midfielder Dani Parejo was delighted with the contribution of Zaza, who arrived at the club last month.

He said: "If you want to have a starring role, you need to have a centre forward.

"This is something we didn't have this season, and Valencia has always had a No. 9.

"Now we have that with Zaza, who is proving a key player." - WIRE SERVICES