Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane admitted that his mentally shaken team were going through "a bad moment" after their second consecutive defeat came with Celta Vigo's 2-1 win at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Wednesday's Copa del Rey quarterfinal first leg.
Following a goalless first half at a chilly Bernabeu, Celta striker Iago Aspas put the Galicians ahead soon after the break. Marcelo quickly equalised for the home side, before the visitors full-back Jonny made it 2-1 with the three goals coming in just six minutes.
Sunday's 2-1 La Liga defeat at Sevilla ended a record 40-game unbeaten run in all competitions, and a second consecutive loss has brought back memories of two years ago when Carlo Ancelotti's side followed 22 straight victories with two straight defeats and their season disintegrated.
The Blancos coach told his postmatch news conference that although his team had not played well on the night he expected them to return to top form quickly.
"It was a pretty strange game," Zidane said. "We did not start the game as we wanted. We did not know how to manage the game properly. Celta are a good team, who for sure can damage you.
"It is a bad moment, we will not hide this. Two defeats in a row, something is happening. We must look at it now and see what we can do to rapidly change the chip. We will come out of this together."
Madrid had been affected by the result at Sevilla on Saturday, Zidane admitted.
"We started badly, which can happen after a defeat, we found it difficult to get into the game," he said. "But we will come through this. We have done good things until now, and the last two games we cannot be happy, above all with the results. We played well at Sevilla, today a bit worse, but there is no reason to be worried."
An upping of intensity and further hard work was now required, said the former Galactico.
"We must analyse now, as something is happening, for sure," Zidane said. "We are fine physically, but maybe in the head the La Liga game [defeat] was tough. It had a negative effect, above all on our intensity tonight. It's true this is not a good moment, two straight defeats, but maybe we needed to lose to find a solution to overcome this situation.
"We must be relaxed, calm. The squad is annoyed at the defeats, but we must be more intense, more energetic, and that will bring us out of this disappointment."
Zidane said there was still a long way to go in the tie and that his team could turn things around in the return game.
"Before the return we have a Liga game on Saturday [at home to Malaga]," he said. "We know we can come through this and we will. There is still the second leg to come, we know we can go there and change today's 2-1 score."
Further trouble for Madrid emerged pregame with news that Dani Carvajal has a torn hamstring and faces about a month on the sidelines. Back-up right-back Danilo was whistled by the crowd after an error-strewn performance and the Brazilian then apparently refused to shake his manager's hand when substituted.
"Danilo played a good game today, I am happy with him," said Zidane as he played down the issue. "He had the chance to play. We will see what happens in the next game."
Madrid squad annoyed by defeats - Zidane wants more energy after latest loss
Copa del Rey defeat to Celta Vigo convinced Zinedine Zidane his Real Madrid side are short of their best but he is refusing to panic.
Zinedine Zidane conceded Real Madrid are experiencing a "bad moment" after Celta Vigo condemned them to back-to-back defeats.
Iago Aspas and Jonny were on target either side of Marcelo's equaliser at the Santiago Bernabeu as Eduardo Berizzo's men secured a 2-1 first-leg advantage in Wednesday's Copa del Rey quarter-final.
The setback came after Sevilla stunningly ended Madrid's record run of 40 matches unbeaten at the weekend and Zidane accepts all is not as it should be with the LaLiga leaders.
"We played a strange game," he told reporters after a third consecutive game without victory.
"It is a bad moment, we will not hide this. Two games [lost] in a row, something is happening.
"We must analyse things, look at it now and see what we can do to rapidly change this run.
"We were playing against very good rival who made it difficult for us. We did not know how to manage properly the game.
"We know what we must do there, there are 90 minutes or maybe more left in the tie. We must play differently, return to playing as we can."
Zidane's men will seek to arrest their mini-slide at home to Malaga this weekend and the former France star wants to see greater intensity in their performance.
"It is good for us to have another game on Saturday. Football is like that, it's a bad moment, but we will come out of it all together," he said.
"We did not play as we had prepared for the game, the intensity was not good at the start.
"We played well at Sevilla, today a bit worse, but there is no reason to be worried.
"We are fine physically, but maybe in the head the LaLiga [defeat] was tough.
"The squad is annoyed at the defeats, but we must be more intense, more energetic, and that will bring us out of this disappointment."
Zinedine Zidane left annoyed by Real Madrid performance in second straight loss
Zinedine Zidane was left annoyed by Real Madrid's performance as they were beaten 2-1 by Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey quarter final first leg.
Spain striker Iago Aspas, the top-scoring Spaniard in La Liga, gave visitors Celta Vigo a shock lead in the 64th minute by pouncing on a misjudged back-heeled clearance from Marcelo.
Brazilian Marcelo made amends with a volley into the Celta net five minutes later but La Liga leaders Real were caught out again almost instantly on the counter-attack.
The lively Aspas robbed Lucas Vazquez around the halfway line and rolled the ball to full back Jonny Castro, who drilled a shot past Kiko Casilla to notch a second away goal for the Galicians and put Celta on the path to their first ever away cup victory over Real.
Zidane told reporters after his team lost two games in a row for the first time under his management: "I don't know what happened but once again we didn't concentrate enough and didn't get into the game.
"It's a bad moment but we have to get over it. We have a second leg to turn it around but today was a bad game.
"Losing is always a possibility but the way we started the game is what annoys me the most because you know if you let the other team play they can cause you problems and that's what happened.
"I am not worried. It is not a good moment for us, two defeats [in a row], but we can overcome this. We still have the return leg to go.
"Losing 2-1, the result is not in our favour, but we know we can go there and change that."
Real host Malaga next up at the Bernabeu on Saturday, before returning to Celta for the second leg on January 25.
Zidane's side are currently a point clear at the top of La Liga with a game in hand.