Casemiro said Real Madrid believe they can win La Liga after his goal earned a 1-0 win at Real Valladolid that narrowed the gap with leaders Atletico Madrid to just three points on Saturday.
The result — Madrid’s fourth win in a row — came after title favourites Atletico were beaten 2-0 by Levante earlier on Saturday for their first home La Liga defeat since December 2019.
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“It’s not just because Atletico Madrid lost. We believe [we can win] the league,” Casemiro said. “I think there are still 42 points left, that’s a lot of points. We know there’s a lot of league left. We know it’s difficult, but we believe in the league.”
Madrid had to battle for the victory, with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois making a series of saves before Casemiro scored with a header from Toni Kroos’ delivery having missed two earlier chances.
“We’ve had a lot of absentees with injuries and that’s complicated,” Casemiro said. “But today’s win is down to the whole team, everyone’s hard work. Thibaut with his saves… They don’t surprise me, he’s a great keeper, but we should talk about everyone’s work.”
“We knew today was a key game to put pressure on Atleti,” Courtois added. “We play them soon and all we can do is keep doing our own thing, winning games. Who wins La Liga won’t be decided until May. We have to keep pushing.”
Madrid’s lengthy injury list currently features nine first-team players including top scorer Karim Benzema, who is a doubt for Wednesday’s Champions League round-of-16 first leg with Atalanta.
Coach Zinedine Zidane — who came under pressure last month after three defeats in four games, including being knocked out of the Spanish Supercopa and the Copa del Rey — said Benzema would undergo a scan on Sunday to determine his availability.
“We’ll see tomorrow,” he said. “We can’t take any risks, there are a lot of games left. If he can’t be with us, we won’t risk him.”