Real Madrid are refusing to give up hope on defending their La Liga title just yet. On Saturday evening, Los Blancos secured a comfortable 2-0 victory over Celta Vigo at the Santiago Bernabeu to cut Barcelona’s lead at the top of the table to eight points.
Although the chances of overturning the deficit seem slim, Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti insisted his team will continue fighting until it’s mathematically impossible.
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Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois echoed his manager’s sentiments, saying the squad will battle on in their pursuit of Barcelona until the last kick of the season.
With crucial fixtures on the horizon, including the Copa del Rey final in May and their Champions League semi-final clashes with Manchester City, Madrid are keen to build momentum.
Ancelotti made five changes to the side that beat Chelsea in midweek, affording veteran stars Luka Modric and Toni Kroos a well-earned rest.
However, the Italian did hand a start to Karim Benzema, despite the striker’s frustration at being substituted against the Blues.
The Frenchman endured a quiet night, though, as Marco Asensio stole the show. The Spanish forward grabbed a scruffy opener from Vinicius Junior’s cutback and also delivered the corner for Eder Militao to head home Madrid’s second just after the break.
Real Madrid Keeps La Liga Title Defense Hopes Alive
Asensio and Militao’s goals were enough to seal maximum points for Ancelotti’s men on a night when Celta caused few problems. Iago Aspas spurned La Celeste’s best opportunity, failing to round Courtois after beating Nacho, while Goncalo Paciencia also headed over.
An unspectacular but professional performance allowed Real Madrid to strengthen their grip on second spot in La Liga and ensure they remain in a position to pounce should Barcelona’s stumble continue.
More significantly for Ancelotti, his side recorded a fourth straight clean sheet, which will provide a timely confidence boost ahead of their crunch Champions League clash with free-scoring Erling Haaland and Manchester City.