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09-Nov-2020, 07:15 am

'The fault is mine' - Zidane suffers La Liga first in heavy Real Madrid defeat

Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid 2019-20

Zinedine Zidane took full responsibility for adreadful defeat to Valencia on Sunday as Real Madrid conceded four goals in a La Liga match for the first time under their title-winning coach.

Soler's treble– the first froma Valencia player in the top flight since September 2017 – was added to by an own goal from Raphael Varane, who deflected Maxi Gomez's cross beyond Thibaut Courtois. Madrid's goalkeeper hadinitially saved Valencia's first penalty, which wasretaken due to an infringement from Yunus Musah.

Madrid started brightly and led through Karim Benzema's brilliant opener but conceded fourgoals in aleague match for the first time since a 5-1 defeat to Barcelona inOctober 2018 – theresult which cost Julen Lopetegui his job.

Zidane, who Lopetegui replaced, accepted the blame for this Madriddisplay, acknowledging they must solve their defensive problemshaving conceded 14 goals in seven games in all competitions since returning from October'sinternational break.

"Three penalties, an own goal, it's too much," said Zidane, whose side are fourth, four points behind leaders Real Sociedad.

"The fault is mine because I am the coach and I have to find the solution. I can't justify what happened. It's a bad day, there are no excuses. We must improve defensively.

"I don't think Valencia havebeen tactically better than us.The only thing is that we started well and everything changed after the goal.

"This is difficult to understand.But yes, the maximum responsibilityis mine.We must find solutions after the goal they scored."

While Madrid's defence endured a collective nightmare, with Varane scoring his second own goal in the space of five appearances in all competitions, playmaker Isco was equally disappointing at the other end.

Starting for the first time in La Liga since October 17 – when Madrid lost 1-0 to Cadiz – the 28-year-old had just one shot and created only a singlechance before he was taken off in the 83rd minute. Isco has played a meagre two key passes all season.

Zidane defended the player, however, saying: "Isco has tried, he has done well like everyone else. In the end, everyone loses, there is not just one guilty party."

Madrid were without holding midfielder Casemiro who, like Eden Hazard, is isolatingafter testing positive for coronavirus.

The championshave won just one of the six La Liga fixtures in which Casemiro has not started since the start of last season, butZidane insisted the Brazilian's absence was no excuse.

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