‘Title still possible for Real’
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti believes his side can still win the La Liga title despite losing for a second time in four days as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Sevilla.
Two goals from Colombian striker Carlos Bacca was enough to hand Sevilla a sixth consecutive league win after Cristiano Ronaldo had put Madrid in front.
Real now trail city rivals Atletico Madrid by three points as they beat Granada 1-0 at home.
However, more significantly, Barcelona now have the title back in their own hands as they moved ahead of Real into second, a point behind Atletico, with a 3-0 win over Celta Vigo and they host Atletico on the final day of the season.
“We need to concentrate on our own games, it is true we have lost two games in a row and that is not good at this point in the season,” said Ancelotti.
“We need to believe that we can win it still. We are three points behind Atletico and two behind Barcelona, everything is still possible.”
Real captain for the night Marcelo, meanwhile, admitted Madrid had taken a huge psychological blow in the past week having gone 31 games without defeat before Sunday.
“We created some chances, but we couldn’t take them. That is football and all I can do is ask the fans for forgiveness and we will keep working,” he told Canal Plus.
“Now there are a number of games that are like finals. It is obvious that the players have suffered a bit physiologically, but we can’t give up on working to put Madrid where it deserves to be.
“It is difficult to do what we had been doing, continuing to win so many games in a row. We have lost two games that were key, but not the most important because we have many more difficult games coming up.”
Despite gaining another three points on Real, it was an evening of mixed emotions for Barcelona as goalkeeper Victor Valdes looks to have played his last game for the club after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage in his right knee.
“It is a big blow, but this team has lived through many in the past few years and we will keep going forward,” said Barca boss Gerardo Martino.
Neymar opened the scoring early on for Barca before Lionel Messi registered his eighth goal in four games to make it 2-0 before the break.
Celta came into the game in the second-half and substitute goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto had to make a fine double save before Neymar rounded off the scoring with his second of the night.
However, Martino was not too critical of his side’s flaccid second-half display given the impact Valdes’ injury had on both the players and the atmosphere at the Camp Nou.
“I liked the performance in the first-half. We kept the ball, moved it around well, had penetration and our movement was good.
“In the second-half it wasn’t the same, but I don’t want to go into too profound an analysis because of the damage that had been done by the injury.”