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Barcelona in need of domestic boost

sports Updated: Apr 12, 2014 00:30 IST
La Liga

Reigning La Liga champions Barcelona will need to recover quickly to maintain hopes of retaining their title as they travel to Granada on Saturday just three days after being dumped out the Champions League by Atletico Madrid.

The Catalans also trail Atletico by a point at the top of the table with just six games remaining, but continue to have matters in their own hands as they meet Los Rojiblancos for the sixth time this season on the final day of the campaign.

Barca could even still win a domestic double as they also face Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday.

Midfielder Andres Iniesta was surprisingly withdrawn with half an hour still to play as Barca trailed 1-0 at the Vicente Calderon in midweek, but he insists they have no time to feel sorry for themselves.

"The substitution surprised me, but the coach is the one who makes the decisions," he said.

"The defeat shouldn’t affect us. The Champions League is a wonderful competition, but you cannot win it every year. "Now we have the league and the final of the Cup. The pain will last for today and tomorrow, but that is football and sport. We need to keep going and fight for the competitions in which we are still alive."

Real Madrid also remain in contention for the title as they lie just three points off the top in third place. However, Los Blancos look set to be without star man Cristiano Ronaldo once more when they host Almeria at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday as tests revealed on Thursday that he has a hamstring strain that could keep him out for a couple of weeks.

Madrid held on to progress to the semifinals themselves on Tuesday despite losing 2-0 in the second leg.