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Arbeloa was optimistic in Monday's press conference despite los Blancos' weekend defeat...

Real Madrid may have given up ground to Barcelona in the Liga table this weekend, but Blancos defender Alvaro Arbeloa does not believe that the five-point margin separating his team from the top spot is too great a gap.

"In Bilbao we played our hearts out," declared the full-back in an interview reported by Marca. "The problem was that we just didn't have the edge in scoring. We let three points escape, but I think that we played much better than Athletic. The five-point gap behind Barca is salvageable".

Questioned about Madrid's inability to secure wins in their past two away matches - a draw at Osasuna and a defeat to Athletic - Arbeloa admitted that his team need to change their approach to such matches.

"It is true that we have not won in Pamplona or Bilbao in the past two matches away from home, but the team is in progress. We have to recover our goal-scoring edge away from the Bernabeu. We are not worried. We would be if we were not creating chances. I hope that in the future we are able to take advantage of such chances.

Thus, Arbeloa claimed that La Liga was not yet decided. "We are not worried [about Barca's lead] because there are a lot of points left, but we cannot keep surrendering points because Barca are a stingy team. In the second half of La Liga we receive all of Spain's big teams at home and that is an advantage we hope to exploit."

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