Barcelona coach Luis Enrique sees no reason to panic after Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Valencia and remains optimistic about their chances of winning La Liga.
The Camp Nou side created numerous chances early on, but an own goal from Ivan Rakitic and a composed finish from Santiago Mina saw them go two goals behind at half-time.
Lionel Messi pulled one back after the interval to end his five-match drought and bring up his 500th career goal, but it was not enough to salvage a point.
This weekend’s defeat was the Catalans’ third in a row, with Atletico Madrid now level on points and Real Madrid only one adrift.
Nevertheless, Luis Enrique was pleased with Barcelona’s performance and is confident they can win their remaining five games to be crowned champions again.
“I think we need five wins to win the title and if there is any team that is capable of doing that it’s Barcelona,” he said. “We face a great challenge, but we will be champions if we win our remaining five matches.
“I can only praise my players. There is no reason to criticise them. I think we responded magnificently to our recent disappointments. We were just missing luck. We only needed a goal. We actually got one, but it was in the wrong goal.
“I cannot remember another team that lost so unfairly like Barcelona have done in recent games. It was a very good performance in a difficult moment. We were superior to Valencia in all aspects. They were only more efficient.
“We created plenty of chances and deserved three points. But this is football. You can win games without attacking and that happened today.”
Barcelona resume La Liga action away to Deportivo La Coruna on Wednesday.
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