Ramos vows to continue Liga chase
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos insists his side will not give up their fight for La Liga despite needing a major Barcelona collapse over the final weeks to deny the Catalan side their third successive crown.
Last night's 1-1 draw between the two Spanish giants at the Bernabeu meant Barça kept their eight-point lead over second-placed Madrid intact, and that is essentially a nine-point gap as Pep Guardiola's men also boast the better head-to-head record this season.
With only six games now remaining it would take a remarkable loss of form for Barça - who have won 27 of their 32 league games this season and lost just once - to be denied the title, but Ramos has pledged to continue pushing as long as they can.
"Whilst no team has been mathematically crowned champions we are obliged to carry on and put Barcelona under pressure," said the Spain international, who is also confident his side have the strength in depth to cope as they face a hectic final few weeks.
On Wednesday they play Barça again in the Copa del Rey final, while they also face the same opponents in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. "We have a large squad with quality players. Everyone on the team has responded whenever they've been given a chance to play," he added.
Madrid would have breathed fresh life into their title challenge with a victory over Barça last night, but in the end did well to escape with a 1-1 draw after playing almost the entire second half with ten men. Raul Albiol was shown a straight red card after bringing down David Villa in the area, and from the resulting spot-kick Lionel Messi put Barça ahead.
The ten men of Madrid battled on however, and they drew level with eight minutes to go with a penalty of their own, Cristiano Ronaldo slotting home after Dani Alves' foul on Marcelo.
Ramos was left with mixed feelings following the draw, saying: "The attitude of the players was good and they can hold their heads up high. (However) you always go home happier if you win. It's true that this point isn't all that great for us, especially considering our situation in the league. We lacked a little luck to win the game."