Varane praises 'patient' Real Madrid after Espanyol win

Real Madrid nudged clear of Barcelona with a comfortable home victory thanks to goals from Raphael Varane and fellow Frenchman Karim Benzema.

Real Madrid players celebrate Raphael Varane's goal against Espanyol.   -  Getty Images

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane praised the patience of his team-mates after Saturday's 2-0 win over Espanyol.

Madrid nudged clear of La Liga title rival Barcelona with a comfortable home victory thanks to goals from Varane and fellow Frenchman Karim Benzema.

Zinedine Zidane's side secured the points despite being reduced to 10 men in the 82nd minute after Ferland Mendy was sent off.

"It was a closely contested match against a rival that ran a lot and pressed us," Varane told Real Madrid TV.

"We had to be strong and solid at the back in order not to concede and be patient in front of goal. It was a good game from the team. After the second yellow card for Mendy we handled the remaining time well. We have kept a clean sheet and that is very good.

"We are playing with more confidence, at a good physical level and with a good team dynamic. We must continue because we have some tough games to end the year and we will give it our all."

Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde believes Madrid have been ruthless at taking their chances in recent matches.

"We are seizing the moment and enjoying playing together," he added. "Feeling the support of the fans helps us to move forward. The coach asks us to go for goal and get players into the area. I try to do that and as a team we did it well."

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