23 Feb 2015

'La Liga title race will be decided on final day' - Ancelotti

Real Madrid may have extended their lead over second-placed Barcelona at the top of La Liga to four points on Sunday but coach Carlo Ancelotti still expects the title to be decided on the final day of the campaign.

Real took full advantage of Barça’s 1-0 defeat at home to Málaga on Saturday and their 2-0 success at Elche lifted them to 60 points with 14 games left, with Barça on 56, three ahead of third-placed champions Atlético Madrid.

La Liga top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo struck again for Real after Wednesday’s effort at Schalke 04 in the Champions League, suggesting the Portugal captain’s brief goal drought is over, and Ancelotti’s side have gone three straight games without conceding a goal.

Ronaldo has 29 goals in Spain’s top flight, three ahead of great rival Lionel Messi of Barça, who drew a blank on Saturday after hitting top form since the turn of the year.
“This means that the team is defending well and neither today nor on Wednesday did we allow the opponent many chances,” Ancelotti told a news conference.

“It was a key game because of what happened [on Saturday] and so we could put some distance between ourselves and Barça,” added the Italian.

“With this attitude we will win a lot of games. We have an advantage but this league will be decided on the final day.”
Ancelotti, who is looking to improve on Real’s third-placed finish in La Liga last term, said he had been surprised by Barça’s stumble against seventh-placed Malaga, which ended the Catalan giants’ 11-match winning streak in all competitions.

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