Barcelona Now Focused On Beating Real Madrid To La Liga Title
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Barcelona Now Focused On Beating Real Madrid To La Liga Title

  • Captain Andres Iniesta refused to dwell on Barcelona’s Champions League elimination as he turned his attention to Real Madrid and retaining the LaLiga title.

    Wednesday’s goalless draw at home to Juventus meant Barcelona suffered a 3-0 aggregate quarter-final loss.

    There was no repeat of Barca’s stunning comeback at Camp Nou, having fought back to eliminate Paris Saint-Germain thanks to a 6-1 second-leg thriller in the last 16, as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar were nullified by the Italian visitors.

    While disappointed, Iniesta said the focus was now on beating LaLiga leaders Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday with titleholders Barca three points adrift.

    “We were not as effective in front of goal as usual and that cost us,” Iniesta said.

    “It’s a disappointment to be knocked out of the Champions League but winning the league relies on winning in the Bernabeu and that is our intention.”

    Barca team-mate Sergi Roberto – who scored the dramatic winner against PSG in the previous round as the Spanish champions overturned a four-goal deficit – added: “The fans got behind us until the last minute, like another player, we needed their support to turn the tie around. We thank them for their support and we battled until the end.

    “We created a lot of chances but nothing would go in, if it had, we would have been in the tie.

    “We leave disappointed. We have to be critical and look at the mistakes and approach the end of the season in the best possible fashion. We still have the league and the Copa del Rey and every game will be decisive.”

    Barca boss Luis Enrique will leave the Nou Camp this summer having failed to reach the semi-finals for a second successive season.

    This was every bit as painful as their exit at the hands of La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid at the same stage 12 months ago.

    They had 19 shots on the night – yet only one on target as Juve avenged their defeat against the same opponents in the 2015 final.

    Neymar, who scored twice in the 6-1 return leg win over Paris St-Germain in the previous round, ended this game in tears with Barcelona’s season in danger of falling flat.

    They face Real Madrid in El Clasico on Sunday (19:45 BST) knowing defeat will leave them six points behind the leaders, who have a game in hand.

    Barca are in the final of the Copa del Rey but Enrique knows that even if his side beat Alaves on 27 May, it will be scant consolation if they fail to win La Liga following another disappointing European campaign.

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