Rafa defends defensive mentality

2015-10-05 10:46
Rafael Benitez (File)

Madrid  -Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez dismissed claims his side had paid for an overly defensive approach as Luciano Vietto's late equaliser handed Atletico Madrid a 1-1 draw in the capital derby on Sunday.

Benitez's men went in front early on through Karim Benzema, but attempted to sit on their lead and were caught out seven minutes from time when Vietto bundled home his first goal for Atletico from close range.

The Argentine's strike was just the second goal Real have conceded in nine games under Benitez, but they were again thankful to goalkeeper Keylor Navas as he saved Antoine Griezmann's first-half penalty and made a brilliant stop from Jackson Martinez in stoppage time.

"In the first-half we were dominant and controlled the game that we knew they wanted to play," said the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss.

"In the second-half they played with more intensity, but we had eight chances to counter but weren't accurate with the final or penultimate pass."

Victory would have taken Real to the top of the table, but they failed to take advantage of Barcelona's defeat to Sevilla on Saturday to remain a point behind surprise leaders Villarreal, who also lost on Sunday at Levante.

Barca are significantly depleted by a raft of injuries to the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta as well as the consequences of a one-year ban on registering new players.

However, Benitez insisted he wasn't obsessed with building a significant lead on the Catalans before the sides clash on November 21.

"We are only interested in ourselves and winning every game," he added.

"Now we have to hope that there are no problems with the national teams."

Read more on:    real madrid  |  la liga  |  rafael benitez  |  soccer

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