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Martino: Barca ready for El Clasico

Gerardo Martino believes his Barcelona side have found form at the right time ahead of next week’s clash with Real Madrid.

Barca sent a statement of intent a week before the eagerly-awaited second El Clasico of the season at the Bernabeu by hammering Osasuna 7-0 on Sunday.

La Liga leaders Real sit three points clear of Atletico Madrid, with Barca a point further back in third, and Carlo Ancelotti’s side have not lost in the league since the 2-1 defeat to champions Barca in October.

However, after seeing his side put Osasuna to the sword, with Lionel Messi scoring a hat-trick, Martino is optimistic ahead of next week’s crunch clash.

“It is always good when you do a good performance like (Sunday) and you score seven goals, but having a good performance ahead of the match at the Bernabeu helps,” he said.

“We can’t forget to prepare well. It’s not easy to score seven goals but I consider what we did as what we should always do: win the game.”

Martino pulled no punches in his assessment of the Catalan giants’ campaign but warned that they will not surrender their title without a fight.

“It is our fault that we are in the third place of the table. We are in good position but we should be in a better place,” he added.

“We are there because we have made many more mistakes than the other two teams. But it is also true that only three or four points down is nothing, we still have options.

“If someone thinks that we are going to give up they are mistaken. We will fight for as long as we can.”

Mon 17 March, 2014
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