Madrid - Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, stung by a shock 1-0 loss to Levante, accused the winners of acting and said his own players aren't comfortable with the "dirty side" of football.
Mourinho, whose side played much of the game with only 10 men after Sami Khedira got sent off for a second yellow card, blasted the referee, his own players and most of all the Levante style of play.
"I don't want to take anything away from Levante's merit," the Portuguese told a news conference after the away defeat, Real's first of the season, which leaves them in fourth place, three points behind leaders Valencia and Athletic Bilbao and one back from Barcelona.
"As always, here at their home they let them do as they want and they do it very well," Mourinho charged.
"I only have to congratulate them for being clever because they know how to provoke, they know how to fake it, they know how to gain time, they know how not to give the ball, they know all this which is also football. And here I can agree that our players are not at ease in this environment."
Mourinho said the last time Levante came to the Bernabeu Real Madrid beat them easily.
"We have players who are very good playing on big stages where they play football for the footall and they come here and they are not able to adapt to the situation.
"I don't want to use the word, I am not sure if the word is rude, if it is it's not my intention but I can't find another - the dirty side of football, you know: the faking, the provocation, gaining time, not giving the ball," he said.
The Real Madrid coach said the squad had discussed the Levante tactics before the game and he blamed "one of my players" - apparently pointing the finger at Khedira - "because he fell into the trap.
"For that I blame him in part for the defeat. I have no problem doing so," the coach said.
"But as I was saying, the referee also has blame because a penalty and an expulsion is a lot, in a balanced game it is a lot too, and the blame is ours, mine and also all the players who were on the field too."