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Carlo Ancelotti: "It was a difficult matchday at the top of La Liga."

Real Madrid's coach finds his team one point nearer the top, but laments the wasted opportunity to gain three.

Denis Doyle

On an evening when Real Madrid could have gained a significant advantage in La Liga by beating Valencia after Atletico Madrid's draw away to Levante and Barcelona's draw to Getafe yesterday, the team came just short and continue to have to rely on other results for a chance to win the league championship after drawing 2-2.

Strictly speaking, Real Madrid gained on their rivals this weekend, but it was not enough to put the team in control of its own destiny.

Unsurprisingly, the coach was asked about this in his post-match comments.

We are as motivated as ever, but it was a difficult match-day at the top of La Liga. Of course teams will be tired after playing in Europe in the midweek. The same happened at Chelsea. We'll have to play again on Wednesday, but I am confident we will not be affected. We are used to playing twice a week.

The coach emphasized physical tiredness as a factor.

We were best in the first 15 minutes, and made plenty of chances. But we began to tire. Cristiano's goal was crucial. Had we lost today, we'd have lost our chance to win La Liga. As it is, we are in with a chance.

Nevertheless, fan will be left feeling disappointed. It is worth noting that Valencia, a team who have struggled away from home this year and played two days after Real Madrid in Europe in a dispiriting away-goals loss in the Europa League, were able to come to the Bernabeu and get a result anyway.

The relatively poor performance of a couple of players was mentioned too. The coach does not feel, however, that Asier Illarramendi has forfeited his chance to play in the final of the Champions League. He also refused to confirm which left-back would be playing.

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