Real Madrid only have themselves to blame - Levante's Jose Luis Morales
Levante winger Jose Luis Morales says Real Madrid have only themselves to blame for their derailed title challenge, while Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo and coach Diego Simeone have reacted to Cristiano Ronaldo's comments about his teammates following last weekend's derbi.
Frustrated after Saturday's 1-0 La Liga defeat at home to Atletico, Ronaldo said Real would be in first place if his teammates were on his level, though he later clarified he only meant to refer to his injured teammates' fitness.
Ahead of Los Blancos' trip to Levante on Wednesday night, Morales was asked if his team would dent Real's chances of claiming the title, with Madrid club trailing leaders Barcelona by 12 points.
"I don't know if we will upset Madrid's La Liga chances, they are doing that well enough themselves," the Madrid-born player responded. "We will focus on our own job. We know that Madrid are one of the best teams in the world. But we are doing well at home, and hope to continue with that."
Atletico president Cerezo was asked by AS for a reaction to Ronaldo's comments, and the veteran film producer said: "I didn't hear [Cristiano speaking]. It was my birthday and I went to celebrate it."
Cerezo's comments were taken by some as an allusion to Ronaldo having celebrated his 30th birthday after a 4-0 derbi loss at Atletico last February, with that party which featured Colombian popstar Kevin Roldan making headlines worldwide, and also upsetting many Madrid supporters.
Colchoneros coach Simeone was more guarded when he was asked about Ronaldo's comments, at the news conference ahead of Real Sociedad's visit to the Estadio Vicente Calderon on Tuesday.
"We always only think about what could happen with ourselves, it would be disrespectful to give an opinion about what happens in other places," Simeone said.