Carlo Ancelotti hopes Real Madrid’s embarrassing 4-2 defeat away to Girona on Tuesday serves as a wake-up call.
Madrid never led at Montilivi, falling 2-0 down inside 24 minutes thanks to a couple of goals from Taty Castellanos.
Vinicius Junior pulled one back, but Castellanos added another two in the second half before Lucas Vazquez’s late consolation.
Castellanos became the first player this century to score four goals in one LaLiga game against Madrid, and the defeat means Barcelona could extend their lead at the summit to 14 points on Wednesday.
While Madrid’s LaLiga hopes are all but over, they are into the Champions League semi-finals and final of the Copa del Rey – they still have much to play for this term, and Ancelotti hopes this defeat jolts them back into life.
Asked if the loss could be a wake-up call, Ancelotti said: “Yes, it can be, although a loss is never good.
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“I reiterate the importance of defensive commitment: if we have that, we will always win, and if not, it will cost us. That is the key, our key, and today we didn’t have it.
“Of the last seven games, we kept six clean sheets, and in this game, [we conceded] four goals. I hope my players have understood. If not, I will repeat it to them every day.”
But it was not just the defence Ancelotti was frustrated by.
He found the individual level lacking across the team and felt they did not work collectively after finding themselves in trouble
“It’s tough, because when you lose it has to be tough,” he added. “The game was bad in defence and that has been the key, because we did well with the ball, especially at the beginning.
“But we weren’t forceful in duels, they caught us on two counters… and from there, everything became more difficult.
“We tried to come back individually, not as a team, because today the team has not played. The individual level was also below normal, but not just for some, rather in general. The level was very low.”