Thursday, August 17, 2017

Guardiola wants second La Liga title

SoccerNews in La Liga, UEFA Champions League 22 Apr 2011

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Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola says winning back-to-back La Liga crowns is all that matters ahead of their clash with Osasuna on Saturday.

The Catalans suffered a 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday and have two games to come against their arch-rivals in the UEFA Champions League semi-final.

But Guardiola insists it is the league title that is of most importance with his side eight points clear of Jose Mourinho’s men with six games remaining.

“A win tomorrow would be a massive step towards winning a second league title in a row. It means defending the title for an entire campaign,” Guardiola said.

“That is what we have to keep our focus on and that’s all that matters to the team and the fans.”

Guardiola said he was confident his players would respond to their mid-week loss in positively.

“They are angry and sad, but that will only make them work harder,” he said.

“Disappointment will only serve as motivation to the players, nothing more.”

Barcelona were convincing 3-0 winners when the teams last met in December with Lionel Messi scoring a second-half brace.

Osasuna are struggling, only two points clear of the drop zone, but Guardiola warned his team against taking their opposition lightly.

“The games we have are against teams who are in the danger zone and so they are hard,” he said.

“It was against Almeria last week and it will be again tomorrow.”

Guardiola said he was not yet thinking about tactics for Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League first-leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, instead concentrating on Osasuna.

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