Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said his side used their team spirit to finally break down and beat a resolute Getafe side 1-0 at home on Thursday to inch ever closer to winning their first La Liga title for three years.
The league leaders created scant chances against their gritty neighbours but finally got the goal they craved when captain Sergio Ramos converted a late penalty, sending Real four points clear of title rivals Barcelona with five games left.
"We can be very happy today because we did an incredible job today against a side who caused us loads of problems, but we got the victory because of our team spirit," Zidane told a virtual news conference after his side won their sixth game in a row.
"Me and the players have been suffering a lot because we have had to work so hard in all of these matches. It's not easy to do what we are doing. You can't achieve anything without suffering."
Real knew victory against Getafe would give them a cushion over Barca, who drew 2-2 with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday and have dropped six points since the campaign returned after the coronavirus stoppage.
Zidane's side, meanwhile, have been on a relentless run and defender Dani Carvajal, who earned the decisive penalty, revealed the coach had set the team the target of winning all of their matches when the campaign started up again last month.
"The coach's message after the break was that we had 11 finals left and we had to try and pick up all 33 points. We're on the way to doing that," Carvajal said.
"It was clear that this was not like any other game and we had to make the most of Barca's slip-up. Today was like a final for us and we treated it like one.
"Getafe put us under a lot of pressure but we produced a serious performance and proved we are a real team."