Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has said that he has been extremely happy with the performances of centre backs Sergio Ramos and Pepe in 2014.
Real Madrid did not have the best first half to the campaign after they dropped six points behind leaders Barcelona. However, they have made up a huge points difference in the early part of 2014. This has been largely built on the strong defensive partnership between Ramos and Pepe, which has received the praise of manager Ancelotti.
Since the last time Real Madrid won the league in 2011-12, they have not been top of the table. They did so during the weekend after a 2-0 win over Granada, which also became the record for the most number of consecutive victories by any team in the Spanish league. Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo scored the goals in this victory, but praise was given to the centre back pairing after yet another clean sheet. Despite being top of the table, Ancelotti said that the target remains to win the Champions league this season.
Real Madrid are chasing the elusive 10th European trophy. The club holds the record for having the most number of European titles, which stands at nine. AC Milan closely follow the Spanish Giants with seven titles.
“I have to thank all the players for the record. As I have said many times, my players work very hard to retrieve the ball. In 2014 games, Pepe and Ramos have been perfect. The workrate of everyone has been very good though. We didn’t recover possession well in the first half. We improved in the second half and it was easier to attack. The most important thing is the balance we have at the moment; it’s the key. We defend and attack very well,” said Ancelotti after the win.