Carlo Ancelotti acknowledged "sooner or later" Real Madrid had to lose but Thibaut Courtois lamented Los Blancos' defensive concentration after a 3-2 defeat at RB Leipzig.
Madrid were without the injured Federico Valverde, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric and fell two goals behind after strikes from Josko Gvardiol and Christopher Nkunku on Tuesday.
That marked the first time Madrid conceded twice in the first 20 minutes of a Champions League in a group stage match and just the fourth time in the competition in total.
Vinicius Junior pulled one back and Rodrygo scored a late consolation, but Timo Werner's strike inflicted a fourth Champions League defeat on Madrid in 2022, only in 2001 (five) have they suffered more.
However, Ancelotti refused to criticise Los Blancos – who sit top of LaLiga and remain favourites to win Group F – as he suggested a defeat was expected at some point.
"I'm not angry. It's a defeat, annoying, but it doesn't do much damage," the Madrid coach told Movistar. "Sooner or later it had to happen. Go on, you can't look back.
"I can't criticise a team that has done very well. From defeats, you learn more than ten wins in a row. We are very forceful at set-pieces, but we were not tonight."
4 - Real Madrid have registered their fourth Champions League defeat in 2022, only in 2001 (5) have they suffered more defeats in a single calendar year of the competition (4 also in 2000, 2008 and 2020). Strange. pic.twitter.com/Rp8DZuyqil— OptaJose (@OptaJose) October 25, 2022
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was far less forgiving in his assessment, lamenting Ancelotti's visitors for failing to defend two early set-pieces that brought goals for Gvardiol and Nkunku.
"It is what sometimes happens to us. We went out asleep, without intensity and you pay for it," the Belgium international added to Movistar. "The coach warned us and it still happened.
"We can't go out like that. We put in before the break. But in the second half the same, we missed a lot of passes.
"As a goalkeeper, you are noticing that we are not in the game. In many duels, we did not win. That happens in both goals, due to lack of intensity. We have to wake up.
"A bad day can happen but intensity cannot be missing. There are many on the bench and if you can't do it any more, you can't do it any more."
Madrid host Celtic on the final matchday and only have to match Leipzig's result at Shakhtar Donetsk to progress to the knockout stages as group winners.