Casillas hails Clasico success
Barca coach Guardiola says title is Bernabeu-bound
Last Updated: April 21, 2012 11:41pm
Iker Casillas: The Real Madrid shot-stopper celebrates victory at Barcelona
Iker Casillas has admitted Real Madrid have taken a 'giant step' in landing the Primera Division crown after their 2-1 victory at arch-rivals Barcelona.
Cristiano Ronaldo's late goal dealt Barcelona their first defeat in 55 home games and put Real on the cusp of breaking the Catalan giants' three-year hold on the Spanish league crown.
Sami Khedira opened with Madrid's league-record 108th goal of the season and Ronaldo sealed the deserved win with his own league-record 42nd goal just three minutes after Alexis Sanchez has restored parity for Barca.
The win was Los Merengues' first at the Camp Nou since 2007 and gave coach Jose Mourinho his first taste of victory here after five losses and four draws.
"We played as a team," goalkeeper Casillas told the club's official website.
"Cristiano did a fine job but all 11 did well. We played well as a team from the beginning.
"We worked well from start to finish although we suffered when they equalised.
"But we responded and got the win."
The title race appears all but over with Casillas confirming: "Although there are still points at stake and we must be respectful, we have taken a giant step."
Barca boss Pep Guardiola was gracious in defeat and conceded the title was Bernabeu-bound.
"I want to congratulate Madrid for the win and for the league they are going to win," he said in remarks reported by the AS newspaper.
However, Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka, whose side lost 5-1 in the same fixture last season, refused to declare the title race was finished.
"This match was not decisive in the league title race," said Karanka, who again stood in at the post-match news conference for Mourinho.
"There are still games and points to play for Mourinho and the players are all happy, but we are also thinking now of the Champions League."
Midfielder Xabi Alonso also refused to believe that the title race was over.
"It's a very important result, but it hasn't decided anything," said Alonso.
"It is a big step towards the title. We need to finish it off. We controlled the match tonight and the result was fantastic.
"The key moment was Ronaldo's goal, it was the quick response to their equaliser."