Real Madrid No2 Aitor Karanka admits slipping to defeats against inferior teams hurt them this season.

Last weekend's 3-2 defeat by Real Zaragoza at the Bernabeu sent their title bid off the rails.

Karanka said: "The fact that we have played better on the road than at home in recent weeks is a fact.

"Looking at the schedule, you see all these hard road matches, but we lost matches that we didn't expect to lose.

"We need to pick up the pieces and learn from our mistakes heading into next season.

"We cannot lose points in matches that, at first glance, we are the superior team. Every point is important is such close league races."

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