Eibar Boss Mendilibar Plays Down Penalty Claim in Real Defeat and Admits Struggles

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Eibar manager Jose Luis Mendilibar has played down his side's penalty appeal in Sunday's loss at Real Madrid, but admits the team are in a midst of a struggle.

Speaking to Marca.com after his side's crushing 3-0 loss, the 61-year-old spoke of the moment Takashi Inui went down in the box after a challenge from Casemiro, though nothing was given as Eibar were brushed aside thanks to an own goal and superb strikes from Marco Asensio and Marcelo.

He said: "Inui has told me that it was not a penalty. He is not the type to lie, he tells me that Casemiro did not touch him." 

Defeat left the team 16th in the table and a single point above the drop zone after a comfortable mid-table finish last season, and Mendilibar admitted his side are in a bit of a rot at the moment on and off the pitch.

He also said: "Last season was a gift because we didn't have any trouble avoiding relegation, repeating that is very difficult. Above all, at the moment we are missing players and smaller teams feel these absences more."

The Eibar boss also had praise for opposing striker Karim Benzema, who made a cameo appearance off the bench after being dropped. Mendilibar said: ""For me he is the best striker in the world. Karim made his mark tonight and he played in fantastic conditions."