Sergio Ramos admitted that Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Espanyol on Sunday evening was ‘hard fought’.

Los Blancos overcame the Periquitos thanks to a Pepe header, and the defender conceded it was an important win after Barcelona and Atletico Madrid could only draw on Saturday.

“It was a very hard fought win against Espanyol that made things very tough,” he told reporters.

“The team responded again. We have gone three matches without conceding and that’s important. It was a well-deserved win despite the scoreline, which was not a good as it could have been, but it was enough to take the points and put us back up there. Overall, the first half of the League season has gone well.

“Three matches without conceding a goal is important because being tight defensively gives stability for the attack.

“It is an important factor to mention because it is always mentioned when we concede and now we have gone three matches without doing so.

“The defence are doing well. I think the important thing for the team is the group, not individuals. We will try to keep clean sheets in as many matches as possible".

“Following this average of points we are talking about another season with 100 points. It can be improved by not dropping points like we did in the first half of the season and by winning the key matches.

“The dressing room is happy. We have to keep improving, learning to play as a team and keep competing.”

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La Liga - Club News