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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 16, 2009

Pellegrini not worried by Real lack of concentration

Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini denied his team were guilty of relaxing too much during their Champions League clash against FC Zurich despite the Spanish giants suffering a second-half scare.

Madrid looked to be cruising to victory after racing into a 3-0 half-time lead in Switzerland following goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Raul and Gonzalo Higuain, but hosts FC Zurich threatened an upset as they scored twice in as many minutes just after the hour mark to bring the score back to 3-2.

That could have been a costly blip for big-spending Madrid, but the nine-times European champions recovered and late goals from Ronaldo and Guti sealed a 5-2 win.

Pellegrini said of the second-half stutter: "I don't think the team relaxed, the two goals came from dead-ball situations that have made things more difficult for us. I'm not worried about set-pieces, but it could be something that we need to work on.

"I'm very happy with how serious the team were, even at 3-2 up we were still looking to go forward. This should be the hallmark of Real Madrid."

With regards the victory, Pellegrini said: "Our objective is to qualify for the following round and the most important thing was to obtain the three points. We've done that and now we must turn our thoughts back to the league."

Ronaldo has found himself under the spotlight after struggling to hit top gear since his world-record summer move from Manchester United, but his double against FC Zurich took his tally to four goals in three competitive games for Madrid, having also netted in each of his new club's opening two league matches.

"I knew the goals would come and that's why I was calm," said the Portugal international. "It was important to win the first match and to start well in Europe. The team worked hard and I'm very happy with the result.

"In the second half we relaxed a little and we cannot allow that to happen again in the future."

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