Zidane says it's not as unsafe because it appears for Actual Madrid

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Casemiro is looking clumsy, Isco's inventive powers have waned, and even Luka Modric and Toni Kroos - previously untouchable starters for four years - are facing heavy criticism. Tactically, Real were all too predictable as most of their chances came from hopeful balls into the box.

With just nine wins in 17 league games so far, defending the La Liga title seems to be out of out of the equation, with bitter rivals Barcelona a massive 16 points ahead.

Villarreal still looked unsafe on their rare forays into the opposition half and Nacho did well to deny Bacca a clean shot on target with a well-timed block.

"This will allow Real Madrid to get closer to their goal of finishing inside the top four".

Madrid's struggles in the Spanish league continued when it lost to Villarreal 1-0 on Saturday, infuriating fans at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Ruben couldn't do much to stop Valencia's second goal, however, as Rodrigo's shot from outside the area deflected off a defender.

Pablo Fornals netted late on to earn the visitors a 1-0 win.

Zidane is under pressure despite winning five trophies as manager with Real in 2017, and he felt that his side had been unfortunate to lose, having seen Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo make a string of fine saves throughout the match to deny Cristiano Ronaldo, while Gareth Bale had a goal disallowed for offside during the first half.

Real were finding it tough to break down the Villarreal defence and introduced Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez for the final 20 minutes.

"Things can change but I think it's best to change things in June rather than now".

It was against Madrid back in February a year ago that Asenjo's knees betrayed him just as he had broken back into the Spanish national team. It has never been able to overcome this big of a gap and win La Liga.

On Friday, Zidane hit out against the "negative coverage" of his side, claiming he saw lots of positives, but 24 hours later, his team were just as bad again.

Saturday's comments - such as "In football there are two teams, and what you must do is score a goal more than the opponent". It is a hard defeat as we did not deserve this blow today.

Madrid face Leganes in the Copa del Rey in midweek, before welcoming Deportivo La Coruna to the Bernabeu on January 21.