Friday, May 26, 2017

Gabi: Atletico must make most of position

SoccerNews in La Liga 7 May 2014

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Gabi says Atletico Madrid are fortunate to have their destiny in their own hands despite losing to Levante over the weekend.

Atletico suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at the hands of 10-placed Levante on Sunday, though the La Liga leaders remaining three points clear at the summit following Real Madrid’s draw with Valencia.

Defending champions Barcelona are three points adrift in second but Atletico, UEFA Champions League finalists, remain in pole position for top honours.

With Atletico hosting Malaga on Sunday, the captain is aware his team must take full advantage of their position.

“We’re in a privileged position of being able to depend entirely on ourselves,” Gabi told reporters.

“We’ll be trying to win on Sunday against Malaga and then close the season at Barcelona, who will also be doing everything they can to win their last two games.”

Diego Simeone’s men could be crowned league champions for the first time since the 1995-96 season depending on whether Barcelona and Real both fail to win.

And while claiming the title in the penultimate round is a real possibility, Gabi is purely focused on earning maximum points against Malaga.

“The Barca players have demonstrated their professionalism and they’re still candidates for La Liga right now, even given where we are and have the lead,” said the 30-year-old.

“The only way for us to be champions, as far as we’re concerned, is to win our game on Sunday and get at least a point at Barcelona.

“We’re not concerning ourselves whether Barcelona or Real Madrid lose this weekend, we’ll just have to see what happens after the games.”

If Atletico are unable to secure the title on Sunday, the race for honours will come down to the final game of the season in Barcelona.

A scenario Gabi is relishing, with Atletico unbeaten in five games against Barca.

“We’ve already shown we’re capable of winning,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of games against them, we’ve drawn four and won one, so we’ll go there and try to beat them again.”

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