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Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti insisted there is still a long way to go in the LaLiga title, after Los Blancos moved eight points ahead of next week’s derby.
Vinicius Junior and Luka Jovic scored in the second half as leaders Madrid defeated Real Sociedad 2-0 away on Saturday.
After defending champions Atletico Madrid were beaten 2-1 by Real Mallorca earlier on Saturday, Ancelotti’s men are now 10 points ahead of their city rivals heading into the derby on 12 December.
However, Ancelotti knows that there is still plenty to play for after 16 rounds, where Atletico can boast of a match in hand, while Sevilla – who have also played one match less – are second in a row.
“I think it was just a good day for us,” Ancelotti told reporters. “The league continues and the results have shown that we still know that there are many teams competing at a high level in this league, but it is very even matches, we are also competing at a good level.
“Hopefully we can continue. And as for Karim [Benzema], he had a bit of pain early in the match and he did not want to aggravate any possible injury so we chose to replace him. We’ll see how he does in the next few days, but I do not think he can play on Tuesday, but he can be in shape for Sunday. “
The pressure on people who already name Madrid champions and whether it is exaggerated, Ancelotti replied: “Yes, because we are a team fighting for the league title and we are first.
“We’re playing well, but it’s far from over and I think we’re playing well and we have another big exam in three days.
“So today’s match is a good performance, but we have to work well in our next match. I’m thinking of our next match against Inter [in the Champions League]. “
Madrid will welcome city rivals Atletico to the Santiago Bernabeu in their next league clash, and Ancelotti added: “We are convinced because it is also a special match, because a derby is always a special match, and in that kind of matches are there are no favorites.
“So we want to show our quality against their quality. I think it’s going to be a great game, also a complicated game. And we’ll see what happens.”
Madrid is the first team from Europe’s top five leagues to have two different players with 10 or more league goals this season – Karim Benzema 12 and Vinicius 10.
Vinicius scored the first LaLiga goal in the second half (46:47) for Madrid away since December 2010, when Angel Di Maria scored at Real Zaragoza (46:36) thanks to an assist from Xabi Alonso, the current Real Sociedad B- manager. .
Meanwhile, Jovic – who replaced the injured Benzema – was also impressive after teeing up Vinicius’ opener before scoring his own goal.
The last time Jovic had a goal and an assist in the same league match was for Eintracht Frankfurt against Hannover in the Bundesliga in February 2019.
It also meant that the Serbian international striker scored and assisted in the same match for the first time in all tournaments (41 appearances) and was involved in the same number of goals as in his previous 22 matches (one goal and an assist of 462 minutes).
Madrid midfielder Luka Modric praised Jovic and said: “He gave a very good performance. He provided an assist and scored after a long time without playing. He showed that we can count on him. We are very pleased with his performance. and his goals. “