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Unbeaten in 40, Real Madrid has bigger targets

Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos scores his first goal from the penalty spot during their Spanish King’s Cup match against Sevilla at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, January 12, 2017. — Reuters picMADRID, Jan 13 — Real Madrid’s advance to the King’s Cup quarter-finals with a draw giving them an aggregate 6-3 victory over Sevilla extended their unbeaten streak to a record 40 matches in all competitions — but coach Zinedine Zidane says it is not enough.

“The treble (La Liga, Champions League and King’s Cup) is the goal that everyone wants,” Zidane told after the match.

“But this is far off and that is only achieved day after day.”

This season, Real have won the Uefa Super Cup and the Club World Cup. They are atop La Liga and in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The draw against Sevilla — which Real will also take on again on Sunday at the Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium in La Liga — felt more like a victory.

A late Sergio Ramos penalty and, in the last play of the game, a Karim Benzema strike allowed Real to avoid their first defeat since a 2-0 loss to Wolfsburg on April 6 last year.

They have lost just twice since Zidane took the reins in January 2016.

Real captain Sergio Ramos said yesterday’s Sevilla match showed a never-say-die quality that bodes well.

“Being at Real Madrid, you’re forced to fight until the end and despite the fact we looked to be going through, the team reacted well and earned the draw,” he told reporters.

“We can improve on certain things but we didn’t lose and we continue on our unbeaten run.”

It has taken 30 wins and 10 draws for Zidane’s side to break the Spanish record Barcelona set in the 2015-16 campaign.

“It’s no mean feat, that’s a lot of games unbeaten,” Real defender Nacho Fernandez said. “The bond this team has is really strong. These runs are positive if they lead to winning titles at the end of the season.

Ahead of Sunday’s clash Real are four points clear of Sevilla at the top of the standings and have a game in hand. — Reuters