Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti praised his side’s “unique professionalism” after they came from a goal down against two win 3-1 over Barcelona in a Spanish La Liga Clasico clash on Saturday.
Neymar had put the visitors in front after just four minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu but Cristiano Ronaldo levelled the sore from the spot shortly before the half-time break and second-half goals from Pepe and Karim Benzema secured a comfortable victory for the hosts.
The win sees Real close their gap on their Spanish rivals to a single point at the top of the league table followed a ruthless midweek dismantling of Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League and Ancelotti was thrilled to see his players maintain their focus.
“We didn’t lose our heads after conceding,” he said.
“We stuck to our plan and I like what I saw because we maintained a high rhythm of play after (Wednesday’s win at) Liverpool.”
“I am proud of these players because their professionalism and seriousness is unique. I am talking about focus, thinking about what they are doing, following the strategy and instructions.”
“We wanted to attack, with possession, using the wings. In the second half we won the game because we wanted to win it.”
“This is a very important win for us because Barcelona were very strong, and we achieved our goal of cutting the points gap, so we are very satisfied.”
The former Chelsea boss saved a special word of praise for Benzema, the subject of recent criticism from the Bernabeu faithful.
“I always say the same about him, but today we could also talk about Isco, about Cristiano or about Pepe,” he added.
“But Benzema was really up for it, as was everyone else.”