Casillas: Win is a giant step towards title
Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas admitted his side had taken a "giant step" towards being crowned La Liga champions tonight with a 2-1 victory at arch-rivals Barcelona. Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed the winner, seconds after Barça substitute Alexis Sanchez had cancelled out Sami Khedira's opener.
The win moved Jose Mourinho's men seven points clear of Barça with just four games remaining as Los Merengues closed in on their first La Liga title since 2008. "We played as a team," goalkeeper Casillas told www.realmadrid.com.
"Cristiano did a fine job but all 11 did well. We played well as a team from the beginning. We worked well from start to finish although we suffered when they equalised. But we responded and got the win."
The title race appears all but over with Casillas confirming: "Although there are still points at stake and we must be respectful, we have taken a giant step."
Barça boss Pep Guardiola was gracious in defeat and conceded the title was Bernabeu-bound. "I want to congratulate Madrid for the win and for the league they are going to win," he said in remarks to AS newspaper.
Guardiola appeared to prioritise Tuesday's UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Chelsea - they go into the return 1-0 down - by dropping Cesc Fabregas to the bench and starting with Cristian Tello.
And it backfired with the youngster missing a couple of excellent chances. "Maybe I was wrong, leaving out Cesc," he said. "But what I can say is that Tello had a fantastic match in defence and attack. We played with many young players and that is very good news."