Derby win gives Real much-needed UCL boost

Aitor Karanka admits Real Madrid's 2-1 La Liga win over rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday was important ahead of their Champions League semi-final second leg.

Pepe brushes off his fellow South American...

By FOX Sports staff

Los Blancos take on Borussia Dortmund next Tuesday in the return encounter of their last-four meeting trailing 4-1 on aggregate after last week's emphatic defeat at the Signal Iduna Park.

Nonetheless, they got back to winning ways in the best possible way with a derby triumph over the Rojiblancos; an own-goal from Juanfran and an Angel Di Maria strike cancelling out Radamel Falcao's fourth-minute opener and handing Real all three points.

Although it will take a minor miracle for Jose Mourinho's side to overcome the three-goal deficit against Dortmund, his assistant Karanka believes his side prepared for that task well by beating Atletico.

"We knew that the best way to go into Tuesday's match was by playing well tonight [Saturday]," he said. "That is what we'll take away - the work and effort of everyone.

"For Real Madrid, every single match of the season is important. We have to enjoy what we can from this win and as of tomorrow [Sunday] we'll think about Dortmund."

The former right-back also admitted it was important to avoid defeat against their city rivals given both sides are currently battling hard for second place, and hailed his side's 'spectacular' display.

"We knew it would be a very tense match," Karanka added. "Also because Atletico have not beaten us for so long.

"We played a derby for second place. The team played as a unit, fighting together with humility.

"We knew it would be an intense contest from the first minute. The whole team has done a spectacular job.

"We opted for [Sami] Khedira and Pepe today [Saturday] and they both had spectacular matches. We know our players and when we pick the starting XI, we know what we want to do.

"Still, we must continue doing our homework till the end of the league."

Dortmund, on the other hand, warmed up for Tuesday's trip to the Santiago Bernabeu with a 2-1 victory at Fortuna Dusseldorf.



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