Real Madrid 'fell with honour' in Copa del Rey loss to Barcelona - Santi Solari
Real Madrid coach Santi Solari admitted to sadness but said his team had "fallen with honour" as a "more ruthless" Barcelona won 3-0 in Wednesday night's Copa del Rey semifinal at the Bernabeu.
Madrid had the better of the first half and should really have been ahead, but Luis Suarez opened the scoring soon after the break, and a Raphael Varane own-goal and Suarez penalty saw the Catalans through 4-1 on aggregate to a record sixth successive Copa final.
The Los Blancos coach told the post-match news conference that he had no complaints about how his team had played, but Barcelona had just been better in front of goal.
"We are sad, we wanted to play this final," Solari said. "We fell with honour, the players gave everything they could, played a serious and creative game.
"But we did not take our chances, and they did. Football is about goals, being ruthless, and taking your chances, and they did that. The idea of fair, or unfair, does not really exist in football.
"We must just congratulate the opponent, they deserve to go through."
Madrid had 14 shots over the 90 minutes, and Barca just four, but a mixture of poor finishing especially from the home side and efficiency from the visitors lead to the emphatic final scoreline.
"Football has this, above all," Solari said. "You must take your chances. Of course you must do many things, play well, create chances, but above all you must be ruthless in the important moments.
"We had various opportunities today, in the first and second half. But they took the ones they had. In football there are times when it all comes down to that. We will try and improve that in our next games."
Barca have now scored at least three times in victories on four of their last five visits to the Bernabeu across the Copa and La Liga, but Solari denied that this result would have a big impact on his team's future games, starting with Saturday's Liga Clasico back at the Bernabeu.
"In football you have to get very quickly back to your feet," the Argentine said. "The same as when you win you must keep your perspective. We fell with honour today. We are sad to miss the final,
Vinicius Junior was again his team's most prominent attacker, but the 18-year-old Brazilian starlet is now up to 56 shots at goal for Madrid with just three tallies.
"[Finishing] is something you can improve, for sure, with the passing of time and with maturity," Solari said. "Players also get better by training, and above all by playing games.
"The more you play the more you learn. First there is the innate talent of the players, and then there is practice, just like any other career."