BARCELONA forward Luis Suarez said his side had taken two steps towards wrapping up the La Liga title after beating closest challengers Atletico Madrid 2-0 at home on Saturday to open up an 11-point gap at the top of the table with seven games left.
Barca had struggled to break down a fiercely competitive Atletico long after Diego Costa had been sent off for the visitors for a verbal outburst at the referee but Suarez finally beat Atleti’s outstanding keeper Jan Oblak in the 85th minute.
Captain Lionel Messi scored the second goal one minute later and the 90 000 Barca fans crammed into the Nou Camp began to chant “champions” as they sensed they were closing in on an eighth domestic title in 11 years.
“Today we didn’t just take one step, we took two steps forward, we obviously have a very big advantage now but there are still some games to go and it could still get difficult,” Suarez told reporters.
Having taken a huge step towards the title, Barca can now focus on their Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Manchester United on Wednesday and Valverde said he would have to rotate his squad.
“We have a lot of games coming thick and fast and we’ll have to call on the entire squad, that’s a reality,” Valverde added.
“Bur our idea is to compete on all fronts because we still haven’t won anything.” — SuperSport