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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Oct, 22, 2009

Pellegrini worried about Real's big match troubles

Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini admits it is a concern to him that his side have failed in both of their biggest tests so far this season after losing first to Sevilla and then AC Milan.

Madrid have won eight of their 10 competitive games this season, but in arguably their toughest challenges they have come unstuck, going down 2-1 to Sevilla in La Liga earlier this month and then losing 3-2 at home to Milan in the Champions League.

When asked about this following the Milan loss, Pellegrini said: "Every defeat is worrying. Both teams (Sevilla and Milan) are more settled than we are and they've played together for a lot longer. I don't consider it something normal, it's worrying and we have to continue improving.''

The loss to Milan came after Madrid had beaten FC Zurich 5-2 and Marseille 3-0 in their opening two games, but they surrendered top spot in Group C to the Italians following the loss, with the other two sides now three points behind at the midway point of the group stages.

Pellegrini said: "We have two objectives: To qualify for the next round of the Champions League, and we will try to recover the points in the return game against Milan; and in the league, where we are on the right path but know that we have to work harder.''

Madrid had looked on course for their third successive win in Europe when Raul took advantage of a bad mistake from visiting goalkeeper Dida to give the home side a half-time lead, but Milan turned the game on its head after the break when, against the run of play, they scored twice in a four-minute spell through Andrea Pirlo and Alexandre Pato to go 2-1 ahead.

Royston Drenthe brought Madrid back on level terms with 14 minutes to go when he drove home a low shot from the edge of the box, but it would be Pato who had the final say as he volleyed home at the far post to earn Milan an 88th-minute winner.

Madrid have now lost two of their past three games including the Sevilla match, but Dutchman Drenthe insists there is no reason to press the panic button.

"It's not a crisis, we can also lose games. We will play in Gijon and then against Milan over there. Why talk of crisis? We are fine in the league and the Champions League,'' he said in AS. "The people don't understand that the Madrid players are people and that we can also lose.

"This is football, anything can happen.''

A delighted Leonardo, the Milan coach, said of his side's victory: "I`m very happy and I have a very positive feeling. The second half was much better than the first.

"After Raul`s goal it was difficult to reorganise the team and the second half was incredible. We created chances, we went 2-1 ahead, they drew level but we never thought about losing and that was key. The result was fair.''

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