Solari refuses to concede LaLiga title race is over

Real Madrid will fight for the LaLiga title despite a loss to Girona that leaves them nine points behind Barcelona, says Santiago Solari.

Real Madrid head coach Santiago Solari   -  Getty Images

Santiago Solari insists Real Madrid will keep fighting for the LaLiga title despite its five-game winning run ending with a stunning home loss to Girona.

Casemiro's first-half header had Madrid 1-0 up and in total control against Eusebio Sacristan's LaLiga strugglers at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

But, within 10 second-half minutes, Cristhian Stuani's penalty and Portu's header had earned Girona's first win away to Madrid and moved it four points clear of the relegation zone.

Sergio Ramos was sent-off in the last minute as he tried to equalise, the Madrid captain catching a defender with a high boot when desperately attempting an overhead kick.

Read: Stuani and Portu seal stunning comeback as Girona beats Real Madrid

Defeat leaves Madrid nine points behind LaLiga leader Barcelona, which visits the Bernabeu on March 2, four days after the second leg of the Clasico Copa del Rey semi-final.

Three-time defending champion Madrid also has a foot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a 2-1 first-leg away win against Ajax.

Solari, though, claims he will not prioritise cup competitions over the league despite Madrid's deficit to last season's table-topper Barcelona and a busy fixture list.

"There's always the league," he said. "We have to get up quickly and keep going, all three competitions are still open for us.

Sergio Ramos was red-carded for an attempted overhead kick inside Girona's penalty area.   -  Getty Images

 

"We came from a very hard journey, we paid for that effort. We tried to overcome, to be fresher with the changes, but we did not achieve it."

Luka Modric's absence due to suspension appeared to leave Madrid weak in the centre of midfield with Douglas Luiz beating Casemiro too easily in the build-up to Girona's winner.

"It is always a cliche to think about the one who is not in [the team]," Solari added.

Also Read: Ramos was asked a trick question - Solari

"We have to face what we are in. This is a squad with great players, it did not come out and that's it."

Marcelo, who has been regularly left out in favour of Sergio Reguilon by Solari, had a difficult day but the Madrid coach would not single out the defender for criticism.

"Football is a collective sport and the field is covered with all the players," he said when asked if Madrid's defensive problems stemmed from the left.

"Girona came out very well, very strong and they grew in the second half. We did not find the depth when we were dominated."