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Marcelo: Real Madrid Don't Have 'Attitude Problem' Despite 3-0 CSKA Moscow Loss

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2018

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 12: Marcelo, #12 of Real Madrid in action during the Group G match of the UEFA Champions League between Real Madrid and CSKA Moskva at Santiago Bernabeu on December 12, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Sonia Canada/Getty Images)
Sonia Canada/Getty Images

Real Madrid defender Marcelo does not believe his team-mates have an "attitude problem" despite slipping to a 3-0 defeat at home to CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. 

With Los Blancos having already secured top spot in Group G, manager Santiago Solari named a starting lineup largely consisting of reserves, though Isco, Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema and Marcelo were included.

The Brazilian spoke about the defeat afterwards, per Goal's Sacha Pisani:

"I don't think it's an attitude problem.

"We never take to the pitch with the wrong attitude but perhaps some of our play may have been interpreted like that [against CSKA].

"You always have to play with desire at Real Madrid. There's a long time until the last 16, we must improve and change the image we've given of ourselves. We have to be motivated and flying high at the Bernabeu."

First-half goals from Fedor Chalov and Georgi Schennikov gave the Russian side a shock lead in Madrid, but despite the introduction of Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos, Real were unable to mount a comeback.

Arnor Sigurdsson rounded out the scoring in the 73rd minute:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

What is happening at the Bernabeu?! 😱 Arnor Sigurdsson puts CSKA Moscow 3-0 up on Real Madrid on a night the Russian side will never forget! https://t.co/cP31cs7DmY

ESPN's Dermot Corrigan and OptaJose put the result in some damning context:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

CSKA become first team ever to beat Madrid home and away in the group stages, and only pick one point from their other four games to not even make third and the Europa League.

OptaJose @OptaJose

0-3 - Real Madrid's defeat against CSKA Moscow tonight is their biggest ever home defeat in European competition. Freezing. https://t.co/KULbCvgJZ1

It was Real's eighth defeat of the season in all competitions and the second time they've lost 3-0 since Solari took over from Julen Lopetegui at the end of October.

Having won the Champions League in four of the last five seasons, Real could be forgiven if they were guilty of complacency.

Their problems are further reaching than that, though, as they've been similarly unconvincing on the domestic front as well.

It's clear the team are missing Cristiano Ronaldo following his departure in the summer, and without him they're perhaps lacking a little confidence, too.

The stage was set for Bale, Isco or perhaps even Asensio to inherit Ronaldo's mantle as the main man in the Spanish capital, but so far none have stepped up to claim it.

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 12:  Isco of Real Madrid reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Real Madrid  and CSKA Moscow at Bernabeu on December 12, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real's issues go beyond just the players, though. Solari inherited a difficult situation left by Lopetegui.

Both managers have also been hindered by the failure to replace Ronaldo and a relative lack of investment in the transfer market in recent years. Los Blancos' last marquee capture was James Rodriguez in 2014, and the last player they've bought who has become a key part of the team was Toni Kroos that same year.

Wednesday's defeat was a symptom of those struggles. Real's players need to rediscover their winning mentality on the pitch, but there's much more for Solari and those above him at the club to do in order to get them back on track.

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