Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari has insisted that Los Blancos went out of the Copa del Rey with their 'heads held high' after losing 0-3 to Barcelona at the Bernabeu in the semi-final second leg on Wednesday night, missing out on a place in the final as a result.
The tie was finely balanced after a 1-1 draw a Camp Nou in the first leg earlier this month and remained so until the second leg's second half. A goalless draw would have been enough for Solari's team, but three Barça goals in the space of 13 minutes sent Real crashing to defeat.
Real had more attempts at goal than their opponents, with Luis Suarez converting Barça's only two shots on target in the game. An own goal from Raphael Varane was the other.
"After all of our efforts and having fought till the final whistle, having made chances and dominating for so long in the game, this result really hurts," Solari said, via RealMadrid.com.
"We went out with our heads held high but we are not happy about it, we are now focusing our energy on our next clash with Barcelona. They showed just how solid they are. We had all those chances and if we had scored them we might have made it to the final.
"We can talk about the game, we were very good and we were organised; we had a lot energy and we created a lot of chances, but we didn't score from them."
Real will now host Barcelona in a second Clásico in quick succession on Saturday evening when the Catalans return to the Bernabeu in La Liga.
Real will be well aware that the title race will be all but over should they lose again, but victory would keep it alive by cutting the gap to Barça at the top to six points with 12 games to play.