Barca are now seven points behind the Liga leaders and Rijkaard said: "It is a strong blow, because we worked hard for the victory and it was not to be. But it's always important to believe in your chances.
"No, I am not upset as I saw plenty of good attitude from the players on the field as in the dressing room. That is not a problem. This is a defeat that hurts, but we have to digest it, look forward and continue working.
"Against a team of Real Madrid's quality, you cannot afford to concede first. Once they scored, it was always difficult for us. We tried everything to find an equaliser, but couldn't get the right pass behind their defence."