Real Madrid defender Marcelo said the reigning La Liga Champions “feel like we are sinking” after a disappointing 1-0 home reverse at the hands of Villarreal left them 16 points behind leaders Barcelona.
A late breakaway goal from Pablo Fornals, who chipped the ball over Keylor Navas after he had saved from Enes Unal, was the difference between the two sides and ramped up the pressure on coach Zinedine Zidane.
“It is one of the worst situations I’ve experienced here,” said Marcelo.
“We’re trying to play good football, to move the ball around and score goals but it’s not coming off.”
Real are currently in fourth spot on 32 points, eight points behind Valencia and 10 points behind, while Villarreal moved up to fifth place on 31 points.
“It is how it looks from the outside – we are sad, angry and we feel like we are sinking,” added the Brazilian fullback.
Real dominated and fired in 28 shots, more than any other side in a La Liga game this season, but they couldn’t find a way past Villarreal keeper Asenjo.
The under-pressure Zidane, who led Madrid to the La Liga and Champions League titles last year, insisted that his side can still “turn this around”.
“We don’t deserve this, we think we played well but the ball just didn’t want to go in for us. I cannot explain why,” he said.
“Today was a hammer blow but we are going to turn things around on Thursday [at Leganes in the Copa del Rey].”
“It might be a mental aspect that is stopping us from winning,” Zidane added. “When we are on a bad run there are always negatives to pick up on.
“We shot on target but didn’t score, when there were rebounds we were not on the end of them. This can wear you down mentally.
“We did everything possible to win and I honestly cannot reproach my players for their actions. I am not happy but nor do I feel beaten.”