Real Madrid defender Pepe claimed Saturday’s 3-2 win over Rayo Vallecano was a game of two halves.
The Blancos raced into a 3-0 lead at Campo de Futbol de Vallecas, before conceding two second half penalties to let the Franjirrojos back into the game.
“I think that we were very good in the first half,” he told reporters.
“The team worked hard, with a lot of intensity, we had control and we moved well. The Coach told us at halftime that we had to keep going because the Rayo Vallecano are a mentally strong team.
“They came out very strongly after the break at home in front of their fans and picked up the pace, which we struggled more against.
“The most important thing is that we took the three points at a difficult ground to win at.
“We made mistakes in the second half, we did not do the same as we did in the first half and didn’t have the same intensity.
“We should have had the match under control and maybe even started to think about Juventus. I think we're doing well. We scored three goals at a difficult ground to come to. I don’t think that we lacked balance, I think that we lacked the intensity of the first half in the second half.”