Real Madrid vs Barcelona: We were scared of losing El Clasico, says Luka Modric

Los Blancos fought back from a goal down to win 3-1 at the Bernabeu

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric says his team were scared of losing El Clasico and giving up key ground in the La Liga title race.

Had Barcelona, who took an early lead through Neymar, won the game, they would have gone seven points clear at the top of the table.

But the home side fought back with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring from the spot, Pepe heading in from a corner and Karim Benzema finishing off a brilliant counter-attack.

The 3-1 win at the Bernabeu cut Barcelona's lead at the top of the division to just a single point.

"We felt the pressure early on in the game because of the importance of the Clasico. We feared losing the game and letting Barcelona go seven points clear in the title race," Modric told Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti.

"But Barcelona also showed in those opening 15 minutes that they will punish you even if you give them very little space. Barcelona are very strong, but they looked powerless because we were great.

"The key was Iker Casillas' save to deny Lionel Messi. It would have been very hard to get back into the game had Barcelona gone 2-0 up. We showed our mental strength and stability by fighting back."

The former Spurs midfielder said it was the best performance he had been involved in since arriving at the club since 2012.

"This was Madrid's best performance since I got here. We showed what we can do against top opposition. We showed that nobody can fight us if we make good use of our quality.

"We could have scored even more. But beating a team that hadn't conceded a single goal until this game 3-1 is a great performance. This win is a big boost for us, but we shouldn't get carried away. Barcelona are still one point clear."