Barcelona coach Luis Enrique believes his team cannot afford to drop any more points after their lead at the top of the Primera Division was cut to three points following a 1-0 defeat at Real Sociedad.
Defeats to Real Madrid and Real Sociedad in the past seven days have seen Barca’s nine-point advantage over second-placed Atletico Mad rid cut to three with six games remaining, while Real trail the Catalans by four points.
“It’s obvious we can’t lose any more points now, we weren’t at our best in recent games and this league will be won by the most consistent team in the remaining games,” Luis Enrique said.
The coach also insisted his team were not about to panic after allowing Atletico and Real back into the title race.
“No-one’s going to leave here crying. We’ll get out of it by changing everything and thinking about what we can do,” he said. “Last year at this stage we were only two points above the second team with a worse head-to-head.”
Mikel Oyarzabal scored the only goal of the game after five minutes and Barcelona, missing top scorer Luis Suarez and starting without Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic and Jordi Alba, failed to respond, losing for the fifth consecutive time at Anoeta.
In Italy’s Serie A, second-placed Napoli brought the gap between them and Serie A leaders Juventus back down to six points with six rounds of matches to go thanks to a 3-0 home win over rock-bottom Hellas Verona. The hosts were dominant from the off and had already hit the post twice when Manolo Gabbiadini put them ahead in the 33rd minute, converting a header on the follow-up after Jose Callejon’s first-time shot was parried by Pierluigi Gollini.
Things then became even more difficult for Verona in the final seconds of the first half as Samuel Souprayen was sent off for a foul in the box on Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne buried the resulting penalty.
Napoli - without top-scorer Gonzalo Higuain - added a third in the 70th minute via Callejon’s close-range finish from a cutback by substitute Omar El Kaddouri.
Elsewhere, fifth-placed Fiorentina’s chances of making the Champions League spots were dented once again as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at Tuscan rivals Empoli.
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