No excuses for Clasico defeat – Fernandez

Barcelona technical director Robert Fernandez refused to blame the international break for Saturday’s 2-1 Clasico defeat to 10-man Real Madrid.

Gerard Pique headed the hosts ahead at Camp Nou, but Karim Benzema equalised with an acrobatic effort and Cristiano Ronaldo fired in a late winner after Sergio Ramos had been sent off for Madrid.

Barcelona stars Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar all faced lots of travelling during the international break, while Andres Iniesta complained about the scheduling in the build-up to the game.

But Fernandez insists Barca cannot make excuses after falling to their first La Liga defeat in 24 matches.

“It’s always there,” Fernandez said in response to┬áreporters when asked about tiredness caused by the international break.

“The games are accumulating, especially with the form we’re in. We don’t want to look for any excuse. The result is what it is and we have to think about what’s next.”

Fernandez added that losing is “part of football” after Atletico Madrid cut Barca’s lead at the top of La Liga to six points having battered Real Betis 5-1 earlier on Saturday.

“Of course [losing] bothers us but it’s part of football,” Fernandez said. “Professionals know when there are such great players, any little detail can make you win or lose.

“We have to keep working, keep doing things right. There are games left and we’re in a favourable situation and this must give us maturity to move forward.

“These things happen in football sometimes. They have good players and you can win any time. We weren’t so successful, but there are only a few games in the season and the situation is good.

“We depend on ourselves.”

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