Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

We have to improve in all facets, says Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui

The Spanish club suffered a 4-2 extra-time loss to rivals Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.

Julen Lopetegui stressed Real Madrid “have to improve in all facets” after their first competitive match under his management saw them suffer a 4-2 extra-time defeat to bitter rivals Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.

Atleti’s Saul Niguez and Koke struck in quick succession in the additional period at Tallinn’s A. Le Coq Arena following a 2-2 draw in normal time.

Real had been 2-1 up, with Karim Benzema cancelling out Diego Costa’s first-minute opener and Sergio Ramos then converting a 63rd-minute penalty, before Costa netted his second of the contest to draw things level.

Lopetegui was quoted by AS as saying in his post-match press conference: “We had good game phases but it was not enough.

“We have to congratulate Atletico, I believe that they have won deservedly

“We are not happy and the negative is that we have conceded four goals and this is not normal. This will have to be improved, without a doubt.

“We have to improve in all facets, we do not like when we make mistakes and we have to improve in everything, not only in individual errors.

“(It is a) feeling of frustration and sadness. But knowing that responsibility forces us to get up and try to improve and start the league as we want to start.”

Real, having not only seen Lopetegui’s predecessor Zinedine Zidane but also club record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo depart the club over the summer, begin their 2018-19 LaLiga campaign on Sunday when they host Getafe.

While they have won the Champions League in each of the last three years and four of the last five, they have claimed the LaLiga title only once in that time, and finished third last term.

Lopetegui said when asked about Real’s hunger having won the Champions League so many times: “We want to focus on the season without thinking about the last years and get the best out of the team.

“We want to get up now and think about the league, which makes us excited. The team has won few LaLigas in recent seasons and we want to start well.

“They are not less hungry for having won the Champions League. They were hungry, eager, excited to win this title.”

Atletico boss Diego Simeone, who was forced to watch from the stands while serving the third match of a four-game touchline ban imposed on him after his sending off in the Europa League semi-final against Arsenal last season, expressed his delight.

The Argentinian, also quoted by AS, said: “Happy, once again, we were able to respond very well in a final, especially in Europe.

“Today we have to enjoy, no doubt. From tomorrow night we will start thinking about the league, which is going to be a very hard season”.

Simeone, who guided his side to the runners-up spot in LaLiga last term as well as Europa League glory for a second time, are at Valencia on Monday.

He added: “More titles this season? Everyone knows me: Valencia”.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph