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SPANISH PRIMERA LIGA

Real to press rivals Barca all season in bid to retain crown

Madrid defender says club will keep pressing arch-rivals Barca in bid to defend their crown

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 November, 2012, 4:17am

After a slow start to the defence of their La Liga crown Real Madrid have clicked into gear and while they face a relentless Barcelona who continue to churn out victories, defender Sergio Ramos says they will keep chasing their arch-rivals to the end.

With Cristiano Ronaldo once again firing on all cylinders and the rest of the team having rediscovered their form, Madrid have won four of their last five league games with the only dropped points coming in a draw at the Camp Nou against Barcelona.

At the same time though that draw was the only game that Barca have failed to win all season.

"The challenge of catching Barcelona gives us motivation. We will keep fighting for this championship until the last game of the season and we will be in the reckoning," said Ramos.

"There are two teams that are at the top at the moment, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, but our job is to win our games and put the pressure on them.

"Last weekend we had an important victory against Mallorca, in a difficult stadium and that has made us more positive."

Madrid take on Zaragoza today having beaten Mallorca 5-0 with Ronaldo grabbing two which matched Barca's 5-0 win over Rayo Vallecano where Lionel Messi also hit a brace and he continues the lead the way in the league with 13 goals. Barca face Celta Vigo today.

The Argentine was quick to laugh off rumours, that spread following an on-field spat with David Villa against Granada, that his teammates felt he had become too cocky in the dressing room.

"Like a sort of dictator? I don't care what is said because the players know that I am not like that.

"It is a privilege to be part of the best Barcelona side ever. Not just for what we have won but because of the way we play," he said.

"There was a fuss made of what happened [with Villa] but it obviously was just a small incident on the pitch and nothing more. We get on well."

Radamel Falcao has taken some of the protagonism away from Messi and Ronaldo with his prowess in front of goal as he scored in his 10th consecutive game for Atletico Madrid who beat Osasuna to keep them level on points with Barca at the top.

They now play Valencia and although it is still early in the championship race Atletico do have the quality and strength in depth to push the top two this season.

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