Bernd Schuster paid tribute to his Real Madrid side’s “phenomenal” attitude after the 4-1 defeat of arch-rivals Barcelona on Wednesday night.
With the Primera Liga title already wrapped up Madrid celebrated their success by producing a wonderful performance to outclass Barca.
Early goals from Raul and Arjen Robben put Madrid in control, and then second-half strikes from substitutes Gonzalo Higuain and Ruud van Nistelrooy sealed the win, before Thierry Henry scored a late consolation goal for the visitors.
“Of course after winning the title we wanted to cap off the season with a victory over Barcelona in front of our fans,” Schuster said.
“I think the attitude of the team was phenomenal throughout the 90 minutes.
“When you already have the title in the bag the players may lose a little focus, but it hasn’t been like that. They have faced the match as if it was a final and I want to congratulate them for the great job they have done.
“We were better and are very happy with this triumph.”
The victory lifted Madrid 17 points above their opponents, who now cannot even claim second place in the standings following Villarreal’s victory at Recreativo Huelva on Wednesday night.
Schuster admits he has been surprised by the decline of Barcelona this season.
“No-one expected Barcelona to be like this at the beginning of the season,” he said.
“We thought that we would be in a position to fight for the title, but it has been a surprise to have obtained this difference.
“We have won a large number of points which is why the lead is so big, but nobody expected it.”