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Sunday, December 19, 2010
Mourinho: We must match Barca pace

ESPNsoccernet staff

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has spoken of the importance of keeping pace with Barcelona in La Liga's title race as his side prepares to play host to Sevilla on Sunday.

• Kaka returns to training
• Guardiola hails brilliant Barca
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Barcelona's 5-0 thrashing of Real in El Clasico made a significant statement but Mourinho is instead focusing on the league table, which sees his side just two points behind the Catalans heading into the Christmas and New Year period.

That gap was extended to five by Barcelona's 5-1 win over Espnayol on Saturday but Real will hope to close it back to two with victory at the Bernabeu.

"At the moment we are second, two points behind. It's a good position. Not the one that we want, but it is a good position," Mourinho said. "What we want is an open championship and two points difference is what we have to keep. We have to play this match... to win and to keep this distance."

Mourinho warned his men that Sevilla's recent struggles make them a dangerous opponent in what is Real's final fixture before the winter break.

"They are a team hurt by bad results, and a hurt team always has something to give," Mourinho said. "They have injuries too, so nobody can complain about an advantage. We have injuries and suspensions, which are even worse. But you can't complain. We have to try to get the points and end 2010 in a good position."

Kaka returned to training this week but is not likely to feature until after the break, while Sergio Ramos is a chance to feature on Sunday after missing the last two matches.

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