sport

Bale remains coy on title race

Gareth Bale insists treble-chasing Real Madrid are not getting carried away despite taking a firm grip on the Primera Division title race over the weekend.

With Barcelona surprisingly losing to lowly Real Valladolid on Saturday, Real had a chance to put a four-point buffer between themselves and the reigning champions - as well as moving three points clear of Atletico Madrid - with a victory over Levante on Sunday.

And Carlo Ancelotti's star-studded side did just that as strikes from Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo, plus a late Nikos Karabelas own goal, earned them a convincing 3-0 victory at the Bernabeu.

That was Real's 24th win in 29 games in all competitions since their last defeat, which came at the Nou Camp in October, and with Barca and Atletico both stumbling in recent weeks, they are looking good to win only their second La Liga crown in six years.

However, with 11 league games still to go, Bale points out there is still plenty of work to be done.

The world's most expensive player said on his club's website: "This was a very important result due to the result in Valladolid.

"We were really motivated to get the three points and we're very happy with this win.

"We're in a good position in the league, but there are still a lot of difficult games left.

"We must maintain this good run and the good form we're in."

Real are also still on course to lift three trophies this season, as they are already through to a Copa del Rey final showdown against Barca and all but certain of a place in the Champions League quarter-finals after their 6-1 demolition of Schalke in the first leg of their last-16 clash.

Ancelotti's side could also take another giant step towards the league title when they host stuttering Barca in a fortnight's time, but once again Bale insists Real must not get ahead of themselves.

"We cannot think about the Clasico against Barcelona at the Bernabeu and we must only look at this Saturday's game against Malaga," the Wales international said.

"We must take it game by game. This is what we've done until now and it's what we must continue doing in the future."