John Toshack looks at the reasons behind Real Madrid's dodgy start to the season as they are eight points off Barcelona.
Real's 3-2 win against Man City in Tuesday's Champions League clash came just at the right time for Jose Mourinho as his side struggle in the league. They have won only one of their first four league games and the one-nil defeat at Sevilla on Saturday saw them fall eight points behind Barcelona.
Mourniho has been highly critical of his players and while John Toshack believes they have not quite performed, he does think Mourinho is not giving enough credit to the likes of Sevilla.
"Coming off the break after the international matches, Sevilla is never and easier place to go," explained the former Real Madrid coach.
"When you look at the fixture list you think it might be a place where Real Madrid could have problems but they went a goal down very early on and then from then on it was a general lack of discipline all through the side.
"The players have all been away on international duty for ten days or so, arrived back on the Wednesday or Thursday and then travelled to Sevilla on the Friday - the Sevilla team have been there all week preparing for this game. We see it a lot with real Madrid and Barcelona; what did Pep Guardiola call it? The FIFA virus. The weekend afterwards history tells you that these are the games when they can slip up.
"I think what Mourinho said is unfair on Sevilla and Getafe - just because you lose a match you can't say you didn't play or that you were rubbish - give credit to the sides who took their chances. If you are Real Madrid every team is going to find that extra bit of motivation and I think he is being a little unkind to the way the opposition have performed.
"I know Sevilla coach Michel very well, he played in the Real Madrid side of mine 20 years ago. He knows a lot about the game and a lot about Real Madrid but a lot of coaches will try and play the same way against real - however what Sevilla did get was that early goal.
"It is not always easy being at one of these champion clubs and the pressure is building - it will be interesting to see, especially in Mourinho's case, how they will react because I cannot remember when one of these sides having such a dodgy spell."