Barcelona Aren't Out Of The Spanish Title Race
Barcelona have slipped seven points behind Real Madrid in the Spanish La Liga title race over the weekend, leaving many questioning whether the European champions could be toppled by Jose Mourinho’s consistent outfit.
Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Villarreal left Barca off the pace, as Real Madrid eased past Real Zaragoza 3-1 on the same day but Guardiola insisted he still had faith.
“Being five [points behind] is better than seven. We have been too attentive to the things they do well, we have lacked luck when putting the ball in the net but my assessment is that I am satisfied, especially after last week’s work,” he told reporters after the goalless draw.
He added: “We played very well and ran a lot. I want to fight for every point like we fought tonight. Playing like we have a good season, there is no blame. I want to convey to my players that we will fight to the end. Now we have to win everything at our disposal.”
Indeed, despite their seven-point buffer, Real boss Mourinho admits they are no certainty for the crown.
“Is seven points a lot? The press might think so, but I disagree,” Mourinho said in an interview with Lusa.
“The people who write that we are the new champions and that Barcelona can’t bounce back are the same people who previously tried to create divisions and conflicts at Madrid.
“They will claim that we are in crisis again as soon as we spill points again. They’re the ones trying to undermine the balance at Madrid. I am calm though and ready to deal with anything good or bad.”
However, there are reasons for those claiming Barca are gone, with fatigue appearing to be an issue against Villarreal, after their busy schedule for the past few years.
Barcelona proved too good for Real Madrid in this season’s only La Liga Clasico, but their consistency has let them down, dropping points regularly against lower opponents while Mourinho’s side have been ruthless winners.
“We did not get tired at the end. We have been very demanding, but I prefer to stay in all competitions. I have few criticisms,” Guardiola said.
The Barca boss added: “We will fight for the league title right to the end and we will do so against a very strong rival. All I ask is that my side wins its matches, as so far we have drawn a lot of games that we have deserved to win and we will not give up. There are still 18 matches left to be played.”
So what do you think, is the Spanish La Liga title race over?
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