Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane refused to blame any of his players and said his team had played a "great game" after they drew 2-2 in Wednesday's Copa del Rey quarterfinal second leg at Celta Vigo and were eliminated 4-3 on aggregate.
Down 2-2 from last week's first leg at the Bernabeu, Cristiano Ronaldo hit the post with a first-half chance, before Blancos defender Danilo scored an unfortunate own-goal to make his side's task even harder.
The 50th direct free kick of Ronaldo's professional career brought Madrid to within a goal on aggregate, but Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema missed chances to tie things up, before Celta's Daniel Wass showed excellent composure to put his team two goals ahead.
Lucas Vazquez's 90th minute header prolonged the drama at Balaidos, but the final whistle saw Celta through into Friday's draw along with Alaves, Atletico Madrid and either Barcelona or Real Sociedad, who play on Thursday.
Asked at the postgame news conference about the most painful part of the exit, Zidane said his team had played well and deserved better given their performance.
"What hurts most is the [good] game we played," Zidane said. "When you play badly, and don't deserve to go through, you can apportion blame. But today there is nobody to blame.
"We played a serious game, with personality, and we always went for the game. The pity is we did not achieve what we hoped for. Disappointed yes, for the lads, a bit yes."
Until recently Madrid were on a run of 40 games in all competitions without losing, but they have now won just one of their last five outings across La Liga and the Copa. After sending his injury-hit team out in an unusual 3-5-2 shape, the former Galactico said he had no explanation for what was happening, but was confident their form would soon return.
"It's true we did not score from open play," Zidane said. "Both our goals were set-pieces, but tactically we played a great game and bothered our opponent until the end. My feeling was we knew what we were doing, we played a good game against a good team.
"We are making chances and not scoring them, but we will turn that around. We will keep working, believing we can do good things, and we will. I cannot tell you why [we are missing chances] recently but I am not worried nor angry. Football is like this, we must keep going."
Zidane said his side would now look to recover ahead of Sunday's La Liga game against inform Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu, while still also focusing on their upcoming Champions League last-16 tie against Napoli.
"With the great game we played, the only thing we should do now is rest," he said. "The lads are disappointed, nobody likes to lose or be out of a competition, but we must put this behind us now. We have an important game on Sunday in another competition.
"I am responsible for this team, and we will keep going in the same way, to train well and fight for the two competitions we still have to play for. We do not need to go over this game too much. We have lost over the two games and it was not possible. But I am happy with what we did, all of us."
Following his own-goal in the last round against Sevilla, Danilo became the first Madrid player ever to put the ball into his net twice during the same Copa campaign, but Zidane suggested that it had been mostly bad luck which had cost his side.
"In the end, for the game we played, our first 35 minutes were phenomenal," he said. "After that goal, which was bad luck, we did not drop our arms. We played a great game until the end, we came close. Today is to congratulate them all, as we played a great game."