MADRID : Real Madrid winger Arjen Robben has denied the Spanish champions are in "crisis" after seeing their advantage at the top of the Primera Liga table trimmed to four points this weekend.
Madrid looked to be coasting to the title not so long ago, but a dismal recent run of form which has seen them lose five of their last eight matches means a second successive championship is now no longer a foregone conclusion.
The whites' latest setback came against struggling Valencia on Sunday, when Los Che snatched a 3-2 victory at the Bernabeu thanks to a late goal from former Atletico Madrid player Javier Arizmendi.
That defeat means Madrid are now just four points clear of second-placed Barcelona and six points above third-placed Villarreal with nine games remaining - the next of which sees Sevilla come to the Bernabeu.
But while admitting the defeat to Valencia was a blow, former Chelsea man Robben by no means feels it represents a crisis.
"It was a massive disappointment, we played well and deserved to win," he said. "We had plenty of chances, the only thing we lacked was the ability to put them away.
"So, yes, the defeat was disappointing, but I think we played quite well so I don't believe there is any crisis here."
He added: "It's now just a question of staying strong and being aware of what's expected of us."
Madrid looked out of sorts before taking a 2-1 lead early in the second half on Sunday, but once in front stepped up their efforts in attack.
But defensive mistakes that could have been avoided allowed Valencia to equalise through Spain striker David Villa before Arizmendi stunned the home crowd with an 88th-minute winner, and Robben admits his team perhaps made the mistake of being overly offensive when they should have been trying to defend their lead.
"It's true that we were playing very far forward, and when we were winning we attacked when maybe it would have been better to stay back a bit," he added.
"But of course it's always good to get the third goal and kill the game, and if we had done nobody would be talking about crisis."