Barcelona coach, Luis Enrique says his team are now in “a privileged position” to win the league title after Saturday’s 2-0 win at Real Betis kept them top of La Liga with two games to go.
Two goals from Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez in the second half of the game at Benito Villamarin secured a third straight win for Barca.
With only two victories required over Espanyol and Granada in the coming matches, the Blaugrana would have a successful title defense, no matter the outcome of matches played by Real Madrid and Atletico.
Coach Enrique said after the match: “I don’t think we suffered.
“The pitch was dry and I actually think it did more harm to Betis than us.
“In the build-up to the red card, the defender would have made the tackle if the grass was wet, and for our second goal, the ball would’ve rolled more [beyond goalscorer Suarez].
“The first half was futile, but we had many chances in the second half. Our performance was good in light of playing while knowing that we can’t fail.
“I liked the team throughout the match. We were very serious in our approach, while our opponents were hindered by the grass.
“This is proving a very difficult and competitive season, with three teams in with a chance of winning the League, but we’re in a privileged position. We can’t fail, but we’re dependant on ourselves.
Luis Enrique paid tributes to Manel Vich: “We’d also like to dedicate this victory to Manel Vich, the Camp Nou announcer for the past 60 years. He sadly died [on Saturday].
He continued: “In any case, we never said that the League was won. We remain first, that’s the reality.
“I have the feeling that we’re getting closer [to the title] with every game.
“Next up is a match against Espanyol, a derby at Camp Nou which will catch fire, and it’ll be very difficult to win it.
“I’m very happy with the match because we improved a lot defensively. They pretty much didn’t have a chance.
“In the 0-8 [at Deportivo La Coruna] and 6-0 [against Sporting Gijon, our opponents] created chances.
“There’s no pressure to manage. Our rivals wont drop any more points.
“We just have to keep winning. That’s what we must do. We must focus on our work and win our [remaining] games with the confidence we showed [on Sunday].”