Real Madrid getting even stronger – Benitez

The Spaniard was delighted with the character displayed by his players after amassing 20 shots on goal in Wednesday’s win over Athletic Bilbao

Rafael Benitez believes Real Madrid will only get stronger after moving to the top of La Liga following Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Athletic.

A Karim Benzema double fired Madrid to victory in San Mames, as they took full advantage of Barcelona’s shock 4-1 defeat to Celta Vigo.

Benitez was delighted with his side’s dominance against the Basque side and feels they showed they have great balance to their game.

“The team takes great confidence from having won at San Mames,” he told reporters. “We had 20 efforts on target. We go away from here a stronger side.

“The team won a game in which they displayed two sides. In the first half we had control and possession along with scoring chances and in the second period we showed plenty of character, but still managed to create four or five chances.

“Winning always gives you more confidence. We lacked the final pass at times but 20 shots on goal at San Mames is a great reflection on this team and re-enforces the collective.

“Athletic pressed high and that’s why we had such a diverse midfield. This has its disadvantages but we needed to adjust to the needs of the game.”

The Spaniard was happy to see his side rise to the challenge of Athletic and believes they can continue to build momentum.

“It was a different game. We did things that we hadn’t done before. Up to this point we have never had to show our character in a match. We managed the ball much better than we did in the Granada game.

“We have plenty of energy to take on each competition as it comes and hope it remains that way through to the end of the season.”

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