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Ancelotti: Bring on Barcelona

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti believes his side are fully prepared for El Clasico next week after they maintained their three-point lead atop the Primera Division.

Last Updated: 16/03/14 at 11:58 Post Comment

Carlo Ancelotti: Looking forward to El Clasico

Carlo Ancelotti: Looking forward to El Clasico

Cristiano Ronaldo's first-half goal gave Real a narrow 1-0 win in Malaga on Saturday night as they extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 30 matches, but sterner tests lie ahead this week.

While only a miracle would deny the Spanish giants qualification to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, as they currently lead 6-1 in their last-16 clash with Schalke after the first leg, their next assignment in the league is against fierce rivals Barcelona.

In the reverse fixture, the Spanish champions became the last team to beat Real after recording a 2-1 victory at the Nou Camp on October 26, but Ancelotti is confident his side can earn revenge next Sunday at the Bernabeu after seeing them go on a magnificent streak since then.

"This team is playing consistently," he said. "There are matches in which we have to play to different strengths.

"Our players' attitude in defence was great and they worked hard. I think we are ready to play the Clasico."

Ancelotti was pleased to walk away with all three points at La Rosaleda on Saturday, with Ronaldo firing home a low strike after beating three Malaga defenders in the 23rd minute.

Real could not kill the game off, however, and were given a few nervy moments late on, but managed to keep a clean sheet to claim all three points.

"This was a very good and important result because winning here wasn't easy but we managed to do it," Ancelotti said. "We had plenty of chances to kill off the game but were lacking in terms of the final ball.

"It was a normal game against a very motivated side, like all the teams are at this stage of the season. We also have to praise Malaga. They played a good match in which they put a lot of pressure on us and worked really hard.

"You can't always win 2-0 or 3-0. I am happy because the team was solid, had a good attitude and worked hard together, which is a good thing."

There was a slight concern for Real when Karim Benzema was withdrawn after half an hour, but Ancelotti later confirmed the France international was simply suffering with a knock.

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
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