Arbeloa: Real cannot afford more slip-ups

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MADRID - Real Madrid cannot afford to slip up again after Saturday's 1-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao left them five points behind undefeated leaders Barcelona, Real defender Alvaro Arbeloa said on Monday.

"We can close the gap, there are 60 points to play for, and what we have to do is not make any mistakes because it's very difficult for Barca to drop any points," the Spain international said at a news conference.

"We are very good at home and in the second half of the season we will host all the top teams," he added. "We hope that gives us an advantage."

With 18 out of 38 matches played, Barca top the standings on 46 points, Real have 41 and Valencia are third on 38.