Dani Alves says Real Madrid are lucky they already hold a double-digit margin atop LaLiga following Barcelona’s 1-0 win away to Real Sociedad on Thursday.
Barca have lost just two LaLiga games since Xavi took over from Ronald Koeman, but they were playing an almost impossible match, winning only four of their first 12 games and allowing Real Madrid to move on.
Madrid are 15 points adrift of second-placed Barcelona, with a game in hand, but with six games to go, the title race is over.
Seeking eight of the last ten home games, including a 4-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu champions, the 38-year-old believes Real Madrid are lucky Barcelona have never met before.
“We are lucky for them [Real Madrid] we have not arrived early,” Alves told Movieist + after the game. “We always planned to compete differently but in the end, life is like that, we arrived late and we had to make a big effort to succeed.
“We already knew it was very difficult because of the rival situation and the situation, but I emphasize, I am lucky that we did not arrive early.
Anoeta was a deceptive site for Barcelona, but now they have not lost there in LaLiga since the stadium renovations were completed in 2019.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal in the 11th minute finally proved the difference, but the Brazilian defender believes getting three points from San Sebastian was not an easy task.
“We knew it would be difficult, because it is always difficult here,” Alves said. “The pitch is very tight, we controlled a bit in the first half and then we slowed down but you have to be able to suffer, in football it’s hard to win but you win.
“We wanted to balance the team a bit and the goal came and decided the game. You have to know how you suffer to win games.”