Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has unsurprisingly declared himself happy with the club’s position after closing the gap on La Liga's co-leaders, Barcelona and Atletico, to a single point over the weekend.
Los Blancos beat Betis 5-0 on Saturday, while their two title rivals, the Blaugrana and the Rojiblancos, could only manage draws against Levante and Sevilla, respectively, the following evening.
“We are now where we wanted to be when the season began,” Ancelotti is quoted as saying by MARCA. "I've talked a lot about balance and I think we have now achieved that. We are scoring goals and we’re better defensively.”
Madrid travel to Catalunya on Tuesday for the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final clash with Espanyol and Ancelotti is hoping of a repeat performance of their 1-0 win at the Estadi Cornella-El Prat on January 12.
The 54-year-old Italian added: “We look forward to playing the quarter-finals of the Copa, which is an important tournament. We need to repeat the league match against Espanyol and if possible to improve it.
"[Espanyol coach Javier] Aguirre can surprise us. They are a team with strong players, with great intensity and [will] seek an advantage in the first leg. The goal is not to resolve the tie tomorrow [Tuesday], because it will be decided in the [second leg at the Santiago] Bernabeu."
The former Chelsea and AC Milan boss also denied that star forward Cristiano Ronaldo is currently suffering from fatigue.
"When Cristiano is tired, I will rest him, but now he is OK," Ancelotti said.