Real Madrid defender Pepe has said they are perfectly prepared for tomorrow’s Champions League clash with Manchester United after they secured a second win over Barcelona in less than five days on Saturday.
The Spanish champions even had the luxury of resting a number of key players as Jose Mourinho made seven changes from the side that had beaten Barca 3-1 in the Copa del Rey in midweek and Pepe believes that only goes to show the incredible wealth of options Mourinho has to choose from.
“We have hit our best form. Apart from (Iker) Casillas we have everyone available and the manager has great solutions on the bench as today showed,” he said.
“We have achieved two important victories given the form and quality of the opponent we were playing and that gives us great motivation for the Manchester United game. We are happy and now we need to rest and think about the game on Tuesday,” he added.
Sergio Ramos’ header proved to be the winner nine minutes from time after Lionel Messi had equalled Alfredo di Stefano’s record of 18 goals in meetings between the two in the first-half to cancel out Karim Benzema’s opener.
Meanwhile, Barcelona defender Jordi Alba insisted that despite three defeats in four games the Catalans were still confident of overcoming a 2-0 deficit against AC Milan in their own Champions League tie in just over a week’s time.
“We leave without a point but we still have a good lead over Atletico and Real Madrid. It was a very even game and the fair result would have been a draw,” he said.
“We have been able to have possession, but in long balls and set-pieces they have caused a lot of damage. We need to give everything and more to go through the tie against Milan but we still believe in ourselves,” he added.
Real will fight for Liga title: Ramos
Sergio Ramos has declared that Real Madrid will do everything they can to push Barcelona all the way in the race to win La Liga.
“Regarding the 13 point difference, it is better than 16. The distance has been reduced somewhat and while they are not mathematically champions, we are obliged to fight," Ramos said to Canal Plus.