Barcelona head coach Quique Setien has admitted that the La Liga title is slipping away from the club’s grasp following the 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.
The Blaugrana had gone into the game in a must-win situation, given they had already dropped a couple of points behind Real Madrid on the table on the back of disappointing draws against Sevilla and Celta Vigo.
An early own goal from Diego Costa in the 11th minute gave them the advantage, but they were pegged back eight minutes later with Saul Niguez converting a penalty.
In the opening stages of the second half, the Blaugrana were rewarded with a spot kick of their own and captain Lionel Messi helped them take the lead while bagging his 700th goal for club and country.
That was, however, not the final goal of the contest after Atleti were awarded their second penalty after the hour mark which was successfully converted by Saul once more.
Speaking after the game, Setien said (via Marca): “It’s a shame. We’re having more and more difficulties. Leaving these points behind means we’re moving further away from the title. But we have to keep working and Atletico are a good team.”
With the stalemate, the Blaugrana continue to remain in the second spot, but they could drop four points adrift of the top of the standings, suppose Real Madrid win their game in hand against Getafe on Thursday night.
In such a case, the Catalan giants would require Los Blancos to drop at least five points over the remaining five matches, considering Zinedine Zidane’s side will win the title with the better head-to-head record, if the teams are tied on equal points after the final matchday.
Los Blancos have been in superb form since the restart with four wins on the bounce and the Blaugrana’s failure to win on Tuesday should only give them further encouragement to pick up maximum points against Getafe.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com