James Rodriguez has pledged that Real Madrid will be relentless in their pursuit of Barcelona as a thrilling La Liga title race approaches its climax.
Rodriguez was on the scoresheet as Real moved back to within two points of table-topping Barca with a hard-fought 4-2 victory at Celta Vigo on Sunday.
Barca once again play before Real in this latest round of fixtures and, with Luis Enrique’s team hosting Getafe on Tuesday, a five-point cushion is likely to be restored before the Madrid club entertain lowly Almeria on Wednesday.
But Rodriguez insists those in the Real dressing room firmly believe they can both catch their arch-rivals domestically and retain their UEFA Champions League crown.
“It’s three points that mean we’re battling for La Liga to the end – we’re fighting for everything,” the Colombia star said following the win at Celta.
“We’re thinking about La Liga and the Champions League, and we can only win and wait.
“There are five matchdays to go and we have to be focused at all times.”
Carlo Ancelotti’s Real have reeled off five consecutive Liga wins – scoring 21 goals in the process – since their 2-1 defeat in last month’s Clasico at Camp Nou, and full-back Marcelo echoed Rodriguez’s sentiments.
“For me, both competitions [La Liga and the Champions League] are very difficult, but we’re going to treat every game like a cup final and give our all in every one of them,” said the Brazilian.
“The team is looking really good, in incredible shape. We’re confident – we’re going to be in there fighting.
“Our aim is really clear in our minds and we’re going to give everything right up until the last moment.”
Almeria, meanwhile, travel to the Santiago Bernabeu on a high having beaten fellow strugglers Eibar 2-0 on Sunday.
New coach Sergi has won two of his four games in charge since taking over from Juan Ignacio Martinez earlier this month, and Almeria subsequently sit two points above the drop zone.
But recent history suggests that Wednesday’s trip to the capital might be a case of damage limitation.
Real have won the last four meetings between the clubs by an aggregate score of 21-2 – a sequence that includes a 4-1 victory for Ancelotti’s team in this season’s return fixture.