Tito Vilanova has disagreed with Jose Mourinho and does not believe the La Liga title has already been decided, despite Barcelona’s nine-point lead over Atletico Madrid and 13-point lead over Real Madrid.
Barca romped to victory over closest challengers Atletico at the weekend as Lionel Messi silenced talk of Radamel Falcao’s rise to excellence by scoring two goals to Falcao’s one as the game finished in a 4-1 win for Vilanova’s men.
Falcao had opened the scoring with a sublime chip which deceived Victor Valdes, but Adriano equalised with a goal with quality to rival the Colombian’s effort when he fired an incredible curling thunderbolt into the top corner.
Sergio Busquets then stayed calm under pressure in front of goal as he dummied a shot before eventually finding the back of the net to put Barca in the lead, before that man Messi popped up with a well convicted brace to make the match comfortable.
The latest victory means that Messi and co have won their last nine matches, and have not dropped a single point since being held to a 2-2 draw by Real Madrid nearly three months ago.
Madrid’s fortunes have not been so good and Mourinho’s side could only muster a 2-2 draw with struggling Espanyol on Sunday, which now means they have a mammoth task to overturn the 13-point deficit and return to the summit.
But, despite his side’s formidable form, Barca boss Vilanova insists that there is still everything to play for.
“In my first year we were 12 points back and we had to go to the Bernabeu and play for the title,” said Vilanova.
“Now there’s a team that’s only nine points behind us.
“I don’t think that this title is ours to lose. If there is a team that has the capacity to win a lot of points, and they overtake us, then they deserve the title. It happened in 2009 and it could happen again.
“La Liga is not easy and it certainly isn’t boring.”
The manager’s opinions were also backed by his players, with Busquets stating the importance of keeping the run going.
“We have a good advantage,” said Busquets on Barcelona’s official website.
“It’s important that we stay at this level.
“There’s no way we’d allow this lead to slip, we can only focus on the match against Valladolid (this weekend) so that we can go to the Christmas break with a certain degree of tranquility.”
Busquets’s colleague Pedro also agreed with Vilanova that the title has not been decided.
“This week has gone really well for us. We cannot lose focus, we haven’t won anything yet,” said the player.