Real not get­ting car­ried away

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

WHILE La Liga gears up for the first Cla­sico of the sea­son next week­end, Real Madrid mid­fielder Xabi Alonso re­fuses to be side­tracked and says a win against Sport­ing Gi­jon will be just as valu­able.

Madrid are in omi­nous form at the mo­ment and have a three-point lead plus a game in hand over reign­ing cham­pi­ons Barcelona. They are now look­ing for their 14th suc­ces­sive vic­tory while Barça, who face Le­vante at Camp Nou, have been stut­ter­ing away from home.

Real have been in blis­ter­ing form in at­tack, with Cris­tiano Ron­aldo lead­ing the way with 16 goals in the league, while Gon­zalo Higuain is not far be­hind on 12 and Karim Ben­zema has seven.

It will not be an easy game, how­ever, against Sport­ing, who beat them at the Bern­abeu last sea­son and have been play­ing well, although they were thumped 4-0 by Le­vante last week­end.

“This sea­son we have taken a step for­ward, we are play­ing fan­tas­ti­cally and we don’t want it to stop,” said Alonso. “But I have a lot of re­spect for Sport­ing. The three points in Gi­jon are as im­por­tant as those against Barcelona.

Barça have drawn and lost their last two away matches but their home sta­dium re­mains a fortress where they have scored 34 goals and are yet to con­cede. In mid-week they brushed aside Rayo Val­le­cano 4-0.

There was con­tro­versy, though, with Ger­ard Pique ap­par­ently de­lib­er­ately earn­ing a yel­low card for time wast­ing that means he will be banned this week­end but will be clear to play against Madrid.

The foot­ball league are now con­sid­er­ing whether to take ac­tion against him.

Va­len­cia, in third, are on a good run, hav­ing won six of their last seven games, and take on Es­panyol. – Sa­paAFP

FO­CUS: Xabi Alonso

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