Real Madrid ready for Barcelona after convincing win over Rayo Vallecano
Originally scheduled for Sunday night, the clash was postponed for 24 hours after vandals sabotaged the lighting system at the Vallecas.
And while Jose Mourinho’s side suffered a few blips of their own along the way, they were too powerful for the 10-man hosts as goals from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo secured the defending champions their first away win of the season.
Real still trail league leaders Barca by eight points following recent defeats to Getafe and Sevilla, but striker Gonzalo Higuain is confident they have more than enough time to make up the difference.
“Must we treat all of our remaining games as finals? We’re at the fifth matchday, there is still much to play for,” the Argentine star said. “The distance is important but plenty more matches ahead. “Thirty-three games is an eternity and we’re going to fight until the end.”
And Mourinho added that he saw enough from his side to suggest they’re on the up.
“It was a tough game, but our team responded well,” he said. “Yes, [we could have played better], but I can point my critics to our attitude and the way my team got the job done, and today Real Madrid were a team.
“I guess if we would have played with this attitude at Getafe and Sevilla, we would have won those two games.”
Meanwhile, Barca maestro Xavi is set to sign a new contract that could see him finish his career at the Nou Camp.
The 32-year-old still has two years to run on his existing deal, but agent Ivan Corretja said: “Last Friday the club sent us its intention to renew the contract because they want him to sign a new deal, given the current one ends in 2014.
“We have always agreed in previous talks and there have never been problems of any kind,” he added.