A 1-0 triumph over the Catalans at the Santiago Bernabeu means that Los Blancos have still to concede a goal in 2014
Real Madrid extended their club record of games won without conceding a goal to eight following Tuesday’s victory over Espanyol, while at the same time breaking their best ever tally of consecutive clean sheets.
The previous mark had been set in the 1994-95 season, although Los Blancos drew two of those games, making their current streak even more impressive.
Madrid played out a relatively tepid, but comfortable, 1-0 win at home to Espanyol to qualify for the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey at the Catalans’ expense, winning 2-0 on aggregate.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men have yet to concede a competitive goal in 2014, having racked up a total of three wins over Espanyol, two triumphs over Osasuna and singular victories over Celta, Betis and Granada.
Madrid’s 3-2 victory at Valencia on December 22 was the last time the capital club conceded, though they did finish 2013 strongly, with four clean sheets in their final six games of the calendar year.
The Blancos even kept a clean sheet in their 1-0 friendly win over Paris Saint-Germain at the turn of 2014, though non-competitive matches do not count towards their current run.
Madrid’s streak of clean sheets is in stark contrast to the eight opening games of the season, during which they only managed to keep one clean sheet.
Their new-found defensive solidity has helped last season’s La Liga runners-up move to within one point of co-leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, who are only separated by goal difference.