Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has warned his players that it would be very dangerous at this point to think that they have already done enough to win the Liga trophy.
Restoring their eight-point advantage at the top of the league and extending their unbeaten streak are obviously the objectives Enrique’s men when they take on Sevilla in Sunday’s La Liga showdown at Camp Nou.
Since October 3, the Enrique and his troops have put together a string of 33 games without defeat, and in the league they have put considerable distance between themselves and immediate title rivals Atlético and Real Madrid but the manager insists his side can still not afford to lose points.
“We’ll keep competing until there’s a champion. It would be a serious error to think that we’ve got it all done. Right now we need to focus on Sevilla, who are a difficult opponent.
“We have to remember that these are three vital points for winning the title. That’s the mentality we need in every game because I don’t think our lead is big enough to do the job quite yet. It’s that kind of thinking that has won us trophies.
“We are playing one of the leading clubs, who will make big demands of us and who have improved a lot since the first half of the season.
“They are doing a great job in Europe. We know them well and know how much work has gone into building a strong team.
“Unai Emery wins titles wherever he goes, so we know he’s a top class manager. You can see his ideas in the way the team defends and attacks. We’ll have to be careful.
“As a football professional I know it’s very difficult to think of yourself as champions until it’s mathematically confirmed. Any distraction could be very dangerous, so our only plan is to win the game.” Enrique is quoted as saying on the Catalans’ official website.
The two sides shared an enthralling European Super Cup final last summer, which Barça went on to win 5-4 in extra time after Sevilla had pegged the Catalans back from 4-1 down. In the league, Barça tend to dominate this fixture, with ten wins out of the last eleven league meetings yet Sevilla’s 2-1 win at the Sanchez Pizjuan earlier this season adds an extra spice to Sunday’s game.
With eight league wins on the bounce, Enrique and his men are currently flying and should they avoid defeat on Sunday, they will equal Real Madrid’s record of 34 matches unbeaten in the 1988/99 season.