Benitez: Madrid failed to respond

The 55-year-old blamed his team’s inability to halt Sevilla’s momentum for their loss, and hopes they learn their lesson by the time Barcelona visit in a fortnight

Rafael Benitez rued Real Madrid’s error-riddled second-half performance in their 3-2 loss at Sevilla on Sunday, saying it cost them victory.

Madrid’s unbeaten record under Benitez was ended by Unai Emery’s men, who scored two goals in the second half to win turn the tie around. 

Sergio Ramos’ 22nd-minute opener seemingly had Madrid on course for an eighth league victory of the season, but their inability to see out the match saw los Blancos succumb to goals from Ciro Immobile, Ever Banega and Fernando Llorente.

And Benitez was left to lament Madrid’s failure to react after a promising start to the match as they surrendered top spot in the table to upcoming opponents Barcelona.

“We played 30 very good minutes, lots of control, in all levels. Then we let them score at dead ball. That changed the game,” Benitez told reporters after the match.

“From [the] second goal we started to make mistakes, they took advantage and scored a third. We came back and scored late, but it wasn’t enough.

“That was lesson from [the] game, [in the] second half we were not able to manage the situation.

“We lacked know-how. We had the game under control and should killed it, but our mistakes brought them [Sevilla] back in. We couldn’t react.

“At 3-1 it’s difficult to react, players didn’t know how to control the situation when the result was [going] against us.”

Madrid’s first match after the international break is the eagerly anticipated Clasico at home to Spanish champions Barcelona in a fortnight.

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