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Real Madrid

Corrigan: Madrid extend Liga lead

La Liga
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 By Rob Train

Ancelotti's "untouchables" stance isn't helping Real Madrid

ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti breaks down Real Madrid's draw to Villarreal, and what that means for the La Liga title race.

You can't really fault Carlo Ancelotti's tenure at Real Madrid. Delivering the Decima guaranteed plenty of leeway at the club, and galvanizing the squad after the fractious reign of predecessor Jose Mourinho was exactly why the affable Italian was hired. Real lead the league table going into March, are very much in the running to retain their European crown, and by and large the players are focused entirely on the good of the collective. After less than two seasons at the Bernabeu, it really is...

Ancelotti defends Isco in Madrid draw with Villarreal; Barca back in business

ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti breaks down Real Madrid's draw to Villarreal, and what that means for the La Liga title race.

Five thoughts gleaned from La Liga's weekend fixtures, as Real Madrid were held by Villarreal at the Bernabeu, while Barcelona continued to bounce back with a win over Granada, and Atletico were held by European-chasing Sevilla.

1. Isco not an untouchable galactico just yet

Real Madrid remain La Liga leaders after their 1-1 draw at home to Villarreal on Sunday night, but the game again showed how Isco has a ways to go before being confirmed as first choice for coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Pregame praise...

Casillas keeps Real from suffering Villarreal surprise at the Bernabeu

ESPN FC's Tommy Smyth breaks down Real Madrid's 1-1 draw with Villarreal.

Real Madrid's lead at the top of La Liga has been cut to two points after Carlo Ancelotti's men were forced to accept their first league draw of the season, 1-1, against a much-changed but equally-impressive Villarreal side at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday night.

Gerardo Moreno's second-half leveller secured the Yellow Submarine a point and ensured Madrid were no longer than only side in La Liga without a draw to their name. Cristiano Ronaldo had fired the hosts ahead in the 52nd minute from...

 By Rob Train

Real Madrid set to benefit as Villarreal rest stars at Bernabeu

The ESPN FC crew weigh in on the possibility of players striking in MLS, the role of Isco at Real Madrid and their preference between Rakitic and Fabregas.

The upcoming fixture calendar has been kind to Real Madrid, as they prepare to face a Villarreal side not-so-fresh from Europa League action.

Future opponents Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona also both will have played midweek matches before meeting a rested Madrid in the league.

Athletic face Espanyol in the Copa del Rey semifinals on Wednesday before welcoming Real to San Mames three days later, while Real don't face Schalke until March 10 with Levante at home on March 15.

Meanwhile, Barca play Man...

Real Madrid need Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema to get back to their best

Our panel examine Real Madrid's lead over its archrivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga.

Gareth Bale hit the nail on the head following Real Madrid's 4-2 friendly defeat against AC Milan in December when he said "sometimes when you go on a winning run you can get a bit complacent."

The Welshman went on to add that he and his teammates were "determined and 100 percent focused to win every game" as they prepared to return from the winter break on the back of a Spanish record 22-match winning run in competitive matches. Nothing seemed likely to stop a Madrid juggernaut that had been firing...

 By Rob Train

Modric return could see Ancelotti deploy 4-2-3-1 formation at Real

Our panel examine Real Madrid's lead over its archrivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga.

Good news leaps immediately to mind when reports suggest that Luka Modric may be in with an outside chance of making the Real Madrid squad against Villarreal. Obviously the Croatia midfielder isn't going to start, but the fact that manager Carlo Ancelotti is considering including him in the list on Sunday is, on the face of it, good news for Real Madrid.

If Modric is named -- the midfielder has been out for over three months, 22 games in total -- it would be purely to give him a whiff of the...