The French defender admitted the team was "suffering great fatigue due to the demands of top level football" and a "tight calendar".
But he added: "This is no excuse.
"I think in such circumstances (coming off international week) that we should approach the game differently. Not have so many players rushing forward, play with more control and be tighter in front of the defence to block the counter attack."
Rijkaard switched to 3-4-3 after halftime and Abidal added the players had never worked on that formation in training this season.