Jose Mourinho blamed exhaustion for Real Madrid's UEFA Champions League heartbreak at the hands of Bayern Munich and thought his side were at a disadvantage.
The 'Special One' was denied a reunion with former club Chelsea in the final on 19th May after Real lost their semi-final second leg on penalties at the Bernabeu.
La Liga leaders Real had stormed into a two-goal lead on the night in the opening 14 minutes, but they tired and looked leggy in extra-time before ultimately crumbling in the shoot-out.
And Mourinho implied his team were at a disadvantage having last weekend had to play a crucial, and potentially title-deciding, El Clasico against Barcelona.
In contrast, Bayern last Saturday played a much-changed side against Werder Bremen, having already surrendered the Bundesliga title to defending champions Borussia Dortmund.
And Mourinho, who in 2007 made much of Liverpool's squad rotation in a Premier League game against Fulham before defeating his Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals, said: "You have to stay balanced when you win and when you lose.
"The lads were fantastic, with an incredible mentality against a great team, against a team that last weekend were on holiday.
"We were maybe lacking a bit of freshness.
"It was a great, enormous game. We lost, we are sad and they are happy but that's football."