Barcelona still have very
little chance of catching leaders Real Madrid and securing a
fourth successive La Liga title despite closing the gap to eight
points, coach Pep Guardiola said on Monday.
Real conceded a stoppage-time equaliser to draw 1-1 at home
to Malaga on Sunday, ending an 11-match winning streak, and
Barca's 2-0 win at Sevilla on Saturday left Real on 71 points to
Barca's 63 with 11 matches left.
"I can't deny that it's better to be eight points behind
than 10 and tomorrow we have to come out and compete again,"
Guardiola told a news conference ahead of the Spanish, European
and world champions' home game against Granada on Tuesday.
"I still think that we won't win the league," added the
former Barca and Spain midfielder.
"I am delighted that the fans and the players think we can
do it. It's nice to have that hope.
"But it will be very hard to win all 11 games we have left
and they [Real] will drop very few points.
"This is the first time we are coming from behind, but the
point is that we are coming from a long way back and all the
teams have a lot at stake."
Guardiola has had the upper hand over his Real counterpart
Jose Mourinho in head-to-head clashes this season but Barca's
patchy away form has left them trailing in the league.
The only team to beat Real at their Bernabeu stadium this
term, Barca look to have an easier run-in in the league campaign
and host their arch-rivals at their Nou Camp arena next month.
Real, who play at struggling Villarreal on Wednesday, still
have away games at Osasuna's Reyno de Navarra stadium, where
Barca lost 3-2 last month, at city neighbours Atletico Madrid
and at Athletic Bilbao.
They also have tough home games
remaining against third-placed Valencia and Sevilla.
Barca's trickiest away match looks to be at Levante, who are
currently in fourth, and fifth-placed Malaga visit the Nou Camp
at the beginning of May.
Both holders Barca and Real are through to the Champions
League quarter-finals and could meet in the final.
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