Real Madrid coach Mariano Garcia Remon
believes his team can still wrest the Primera Liga title from runaway
leaders Barcelona despite a seven-point deficit entering December.
Garcia Remon was delighted with the 5-0 thrashing of 10th-placed Levante
on Sunday, a 13-minute spree of four goals either side of the break
settling the points for second-placed Real.
"My congratulations to the players ... I said at the start of the week
that we should not be ruled out for any title. Real Madrid are going to
fight for everything," Garcia Remon was quoted saying on the club
Barcelona, who beat Real 3-0 the week before, kept their lead at the top
with a nervy 2-1 win over Getafe on Saturday.
Ronaldo, whose two goals on Sunday took his league tally to seven, said
fans needed to keep faith with the team.
"People need to have patience, because, little by little we are going to
improve. The most important thing is to achieve results, and we have
managed it," Ronaldo told the website.
Goalkeeper Iker Casillas added: "The main thing is to win the three
titles at stake: the Primera Liga, the King's Cup and the Champions
League. Everything else is secondary."
Some of the Spanish papers remain to be convinced, though, about Real's
cohesion as a team and believe they simply rely on their Gelacticos.
"Lacking in skill, Madrid pulled out the artillery," said sports daily
Marca on its front page.
"Real Madrid are said to lack football but have individuals. Yesterday
the crack players appeared," said Elias Israel in a column entitled "In
the absence of football, goals are good".
"(Real), with more effectiveness than skill, continue their pursuit of
Barcelona," free sports paper Gol commented.
Garcia Remon agreed that Real had struggled to find their rhythm in the
first half but said the second period was excellent.
"The first half was very uncomfortable, we ... had no room for manoeuvre.
We were also suffering from the pressure of people who wanted us to tie
up the game early," said the coach.
Real may also have been helped by Levante coach Bernd Schuster's
surprise decision to drop Ivory Coast striker Felix Ettien from his
"I was quite surprised and did not think he (Schuster) was capable of
making these changes. We have lost our identity as a team. They got five
(goals) and that hurts," Marca quoted Levante chairman Pedro Villarroel
Ettien added: "I don't understand the decision of the coach ... I don't
know why I started the game on the bench."