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Real Madrid, Barca Continue Title Race

Posted: May 9, 2015 at 1:44 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Real Madrid can ill-afford a slip-up against Valencia on Saturday on the back of a UEFA Champions League defeat at Juventus while Barca will be hoping to maintain its grip at the top of the table as the team faces Real Sociedad.

Real lost 2-1 to the Italian champions on Tuesday in the first leg of its semi-final. While the defeat is far from catastrophic, the team will face a tough ask at Santiago Bernabeu against a Juventus side which is excellent in defence.

It is understandable that much of its attention will be on overturning the deficit and progress to what would most likely be an El Clasico final against Barcelona, but before facing Juve the team has a crucial Liga fixture against the fourth-placed Valencia.

Valencia came from behind to beat Real 2-1 in January thanks to goals from Antonio Barragan and Nicolas Otamendi.

Real remain two points adrift of table-toppers Barca despite a seven-match winning streak. Just three matches of the season remain and the leaders faces a Real Sociedad side today that beat them earlier this season.

Carlo Ancelotti will desperately hope for a repeat – and victory against Valencia – that would put his Real side top of the table.

Real defender Sergio Ramos said the European champions are determined to bounce back from the Champions League defeat.

“[Tuesday] was one of those days when things don’t go for you from the opening minutes,” Ramos said.

“After a bad result you have to stay calm and more united than ever.

“Making mistakes is part of the game and we have to be self-critical and improve so that things go as we’d like at the Bernabeu.”

Meanwhile, Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has warned against complacency ahead of an important Liga clash with Real Sociedad today.

“We shouldn’t start thinking that nobody can beat us,” Iniesta said after the Bayern win.

“We have to keep doing this. If we stop, there are other very good teams and when you least expect it, the team can beat you.”