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Sunday 17 December 2017

Ancelotti praise as Real equal win record

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti gave all the credit to his players after the Champions League holders matched the club record for consecutive victories of 15 last night.

The 1-0 win at FC Basel, a fifth straight success in Group B thanks to a first-half Cristiano Ronaldo strike, was hardly their most impressive of the season but equalled Real's best run of victories achieved in both 1960-61 and 2011-12.

Ronaldo's (l) 71st strike in the Champions League took him level with Los Blancos legend Raul.

Real had already qualified for the knockout round and beating the Swiss side made sure of top spot, which means they will avoid fellow group winners when the draw for the last 16 is made next month.

Ancelotti, who led Real to a record-extending 10th European crown in his first season in charge in 2013-14, said it was the latest chapter in the storied club's history.

"Anything we can do that writes us a page in the history of this fantastic club is good," said the Italian, who won the Champions League with AC Milan as both player and coach.

"The credit goes to the players, who are playing a fantastic phase of the season."

Their next outing is at Malaga on Saturday, when Ancelotti's side can claim the outright record.

"We didn't play at our normal level because we were slower than usual," Ancelotti said.

"But after the goal we controlled the game well and made sacrifices to keep the defence tight."

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