Cristiano Ronaldo has attempted to deflect the criticism that Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is receiving, after Los Blancos lost to Ateltico Madrid at the weekend.
It was a painful defeat for Real, to lose the Madrid derby on their own home ground.
And the result left them five points adrift of their local rivals, and more importantly defending champions Barcelona, both of whom remain unbeaten so far this season.
If the trend continues, it could be that Real are forced to beat Barca twice and Atletico in the reverse fixture if they are to win La Liga.
It was a sloppy display from Los Blancos at the weekend, and they seemed second to every loose ball.
That, CR7 says, has little to do with Ancelotti, and everything to do with the players who let the Madrid faithful down.
"Atletico went ahead and played a good match. They ran more and it was not our best day,” was Ronaldo’s insider take on the battle of the Bernabeu.
"The coach is not to blame. The players are to blame. I played badly, but not just me. My team-mates were not good either. We have to step up and fight harder.
"From today to tomorrow we can improve a lot and we will do. There are still a lot of league matches left, the Champions League, the cup. Five points is a big advantage but we have to keep working to make this a phenomenal season."
Meanwhile, there is almost an air of disbelief in the red and white half of Madrid that Los Rojiblancos have emulated Barca’s 100% start to the season.
A five point gap over Real Madrid is almost unheard of for them in contemporary football, and many neutrals have begun to plump for Atleti to win La Liga outright.
But manager Diego Simeone refuses to get ahead of himself, even after such a morale boosting derby result.
"Looking at the table you would say yes, but the economic power of Barcelona and Real Madrid is important," he said. "We will go game by game.
"The result is much better than anything. I compare it to the final because winning a cup final at the stadium of your eternal rival is important. It was a very good performance. I congratulate my players because they have responded very well in a very important game."