By FOX SPORTS Staff
Los Blancos firmly put last weekend's horror show against Granada, a game they lost 1-0, behind them as they steamrolled Sevilla to record their third win in five La Liga games and closed the gap between them and second placed Atletico Madrid, who take on Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, to just four points, albeit for at least a day.
Forward Cristiano Ronaldo led the way, setting up Karim Benzema to score the opening goal in the 18th minute before sealing up the win for Real with a brilliant hat-trick, scoring in the 26th, 46th and 59th minute, whilst Sevilla could only reply through a late consolation goal by Manu del Moral.
This morale-boosting win could not come at a better time for Real as they prepare for their crucial last-16 first-leg tie against United, and Karanka believes the Red Devils will have reason to fear his side following their recent run of good form.
"Real Madrid are coming into the United match in good form and not because of today's [Saturday] result," Karanka was quoted as saying by the official Real website.
"Apart from the match against Granada, the team has been showing good things throughout January.
"Today [Saturday] we played well and have given a bit of a rest to key players and the match comes at a good time for us."
Karanka also acknowledged that it was important psychologically for Los Blancos to have won at the Santiago Bernabeu and predicted his side to embark on a winning run from now till the end of the season.
"After the match against Granada and to dispel any doubts and playing at home in our stadium, I think there no better way to approach the match than how we started on Saturday," Karanka declared.
"It looks like it was easy if you look at the result.
"Sevilla have quality players and although we were 2-0 up at the break, they could have created some danger, but the third goal at the start of the second half settled things.
"This result is not a one-off, I'm sure that we will be winning matches until the end."
The 39-year-old also highlighted Ronaldo's importance to the team and expressed his hope that the Portuguese captain could maintain the good form he showed against Sevilla for future games.
"He has had that admiration for a long time and he knows how important he is for the team," Karanka added.
"It is important that a player like Cristiano is at this level."
Real are currently third in the table after having amassed 46 points from 23 league games.