LONDON (Reuters) - Cristiano Ronaldo played down talk of crisis at Real Madrid after the European and Spanish champions were trounced 3-1 on their Wembley debut against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.
The Portuguese scored his sixth goal in this year’s Champions League and 111th overall but it was merely a consolation effort as his side were outplayed on their first ever appearance at the iconic stadium.
Defeat left Real second in Group H, three points behind Tottenham who will seal top spot if they win one of their last two games away to Borussia Dortmund or home to Apoel Nicosia.
Zinedine Zidane’s side also trail Barcelona by eight points after 10 games in La Liga following a shock defeat by Girona at the weekend -- a result that means Real have suffered their worst domestic start for five years.
“You can’t always be at your best -- there are good moments and bad moments,” Ronaldo, who had never been on the losing side against Tottenham, including in 11 matches against the London club for Manchester United, told reporters.
”We’re relaxed. What counts is what happens at the end (of the season), not what happens now. We need to stay calm.
”We’re not in the best moment -- we have to accept that and keep working. We could lose three, four, five games and I still wouldn’t think there’s a crisis.
”We’re in a bad run and we want to change things. We’ve got a long way to go in order to do that but I‘m sure we will. Football is about winning but people forget the good things this side did a few months ago. I‘m relaxed.
“I don’t think it’s a question of attitude. We won’t hide, we’ll work to turn this around.”
Zidane said before kickoff that he relished the challenge of recovering from setbacks. He could not have envisaged his side being so comprehensively outplayed, though, as Real lost for only the second time in 22 European fixtures.
Like Ronaldo, he said there was no need to panic, even if he knows Thursday’s headlines will not make pleasant reading.
“You always ask me if I‘m worried, but I‘m not worried. I‘m never going to be, whatever happens,” the Frenchman said.
”We’re not in a good moment, but there’s time to change that.
”Of course the dressing room isn’t happy. It’s a tough defeat for us today, but at the same time it’s deserved. Tottenham deserved to win.
“We know how to change this. We’re going to change this. We have to ride this out.”
Zidane refuted suggestions his side, run ragged at times by Spurs, were suffering physically.
“We’re definitely not in a bad state physically. We’re at the level we are. Perhaps we’re not at our best because of two defeats, but physically I don’t think we’re in a bad way.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Nick Mulvenney