Barcelona coach Pep
Guardiola has told his players they need to lift their game if
they hope to catch La Liga leaders Real Madrid and secure a
fourth straight Spanish title.
Barca slipped to a shock 1-0 loss at Getafe on Saturday,
confirming their poor form away from home, and are six points
adrift of Jose Mourinho's Real after 13 matches.
With the great rivals due to meet for the opening 'Clasico'
of the campaign on December 10 at Real's Bernabeu stadium, Guardiola
conceded the Madrid side had been the more impressive so far
"As a sportsman this is not the first time I see myself
trailing a rival," he told a news conference ahead of Barca's
game at home to Rayo Vallecano on Tuesday, a match brought
forward because of Barca's participation in next month's Club
World Cup in Japan.
"Real Madrid are six points clear because up to now they
have been better than us," Guardiola added.
"We know that Real Madrid are very strong and we know we'll
have to lift our game or we won't get there.
"We will try to raise our level because our current one is
not good enough to be top of the league.
"We'll try and if we don't succeed we will congratulate our
opponent for having been superior."
Barca's form at home has been almost impeccable, with six
wins and a draw in seven games and 30 goals scored against none
However, they have won only two of six away matches, drawing
three and losing one, and have managed only eight goals for and
"At home we are more consistent and away we are finding it
harder but we have not been worse than our opponents in a single
one of those games," Guardiola said.
"We have created more chances in all of them but it has not
been possible to win matches and that is what we are looking
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