Real Madrid defender Pepe has conceded that his side ran out of ideas in Sunday’s 1-1 Spanish La Liga draw with Villarreal, admitting that they found it “practically impossible” to play their way through the visitors’ defence at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Spanish top flight leaders Real looked strangely out of sorts during a turgid opening half in the Spanish capital and only broke the deadlock thanks to a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo just after the interval.
Villarreal levelled after 64 minutes through Gerard Moreno’s snap-shot from the edge of the area and, despite their best efforts, Madrid were unable to force a winner during a frantic finale.
Portugal international Pepe was thus the first to admit that the Yellow Submarine had done an excellent job in denying Los Blancos space and nullifying the threat posed by Ronaldo and his accomplices.
“We wanted to win but Villarreal fought a lot and they ran themselves into the ground,” he told reporters post-match.
“We put in a lot of crosses and they had two lines of four, so it was practically impossible to get through in the middle.”
“We conceded a goal on a counterattack but that’s football. We fought and we came up against a very good team; we have to keep fighting.”
“We’re still top and we have to keep working until the end of the season.”
The result meant that Real are just two points clear of second-placed Barcelona ahead of Wednesday’s league trip to Athletic Bilbao.