Ancelotti not focused on Barcelona yet as 'solid' Real Madrid move top of La Liga

Champions earn first clean sheet of league season after 1-0 win at Getafe

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Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said he has not given much thought to next weekend's Clasico against Barcelona after his side returned to the top of La Liga with a narrow win at Getafe on Saturday.

Defender Eder Militao scored the only goal of the game in the third minute, ghosting between several defenders to head home from close-range from a corner by Luka Modric.

Yet despite their early breakthrough and a dominant performance, Real were unable to break down Getafe’s defensive wall and extend their lead.

Real, who bounced back from dropping their first points of the campaign in a disappointing home draw against Osasuna last weekend, moved on to 22 points, three ahead of rivals Barcelona who have a game in hand and will host Celta Vigo on Sunday.

Real's chief striker Karim Benzema did not train on Friday and was not included in the matchday squad. The club hope the French forward will be at full strength for the Clasico next weekend, although Ancelotti isn't looking that far ahead yet.

"The Clasico is still far away, we have another game (against Shakhtar in the Champions League), so I was able to rest players who were tired. Karim, (Ferland) Mendy, maybe others in Warsaw on Tuesday," said Ancelotti.

"The team deserved to win here, we could have scored more, we kept a clean sheet. These are good things. We weren't as accurate up front but we're very satisfied. The team was much more solid, strong in duels, above all, in the air."

It was Real Madrid's first La Liga clean sheet this season and defender Dani Carvajal believes it's important the team continues to be solid at the back for similar matches when they are unable to score several goals.

"It's clear that we want to score more than one, two, or three, but keeping the clean sheet here gave us the win," Carvajal said. "Winning by the minimum and keeping the clean sheet makes it more valuable not to concede."

Correa at the double for Atletico

Angel Correa scored both goals in Atletico Madrid's 2-1 win over Girona. AFP

Elsewhere Angel Correa's brace gave Atletico Madrid a 2-1 win over Girona, while new Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli earned a creditable 1-1 draw against third-place Athletic Bilbao.

Argentine forward Correa was at his explosive best to help Atletico, fourth, recover from a chastening defeat by Club Brugge in the Champions League in midweek.

"We are working to get higher up in La Liga, which is a complicated competition," said Correa. "The Champions League is coming next and we want to win to bring our fans happiness."

Antoine Griezmann started the game at the Metropolitano, amid reports in Spain that Atletico and Barcelona have settled on a transfer fee to make his loan move permanent. He played a pivotal role in Atletico's opener, with his clipped cross finished by Correa at the back post.

Then the Argentine striker intercepted Girona goalkeeper Juan Carlos's pass early in the second half and stroked home his second.

Rodrigo Riquelme, on loan from Atletico, pulled Girona back into the game with a deflected drive from distance against his parent club, but they could not find the leveller.

At the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, Sampaoli started his second stint at the Sevilla helm with an exciting battle against Ernesto Valverde's third-place Athletic Bilbao.

Sevilla came out flying and Oliver Torres slid home after little more than three minutes.

Mikel Vesga levelled the scores with a long-range drive in the second half.

Sevilla remain 17th but under Sampaoli, who coached them in the 2016-17 season, they will hope to claw their way up the table.

Updated: October 09, 2022, 5:17 AM
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