Frenkie de Jong insists the LaLiga title race is in Barcelona’s hands after Nou Camp giants closed the gap on leaders Atletico Madrid to just a single point ahead of El Clasico against Real Madrid
- A 19-match unbeaten streak in LaLiga has reignited Barcelona’s title challenge
- The last-gasp win against Valladolid sent Barcelona just one point off top spot
- Midfielder Frenkie de Jong is confident that his team still control their own fate
- A win in El Clasico would send Barcelona, and maybe even Real Madrid, into first
Barcelona lynchpin Frenkie de Jong believes his team are fully in control of the LaLiga title race after closing the gap on leaders Atletico Madrid.
Ronald Koeman’s outfit have superbly reversed their ailing fortunes with a formidable run of form and clawed themselves back into the mix at the summit.
And now, ahead of this weekend’s El Clasico showdown, de Jong is confident that, regardless of the result, Barcelona are in a strong position to take back the trophy.
Frenkie de Jong has insisted that Barcelona’s LaLiga fate is entirely in their hands this season
He told Marca: ‘There is always pressure. It will not be different from the other El Clasico games. We want to win it.
‘Winning is really important and it would bring us closer to our goal, but I don’t think it will be a decisive match.
‘If we win or lose the Clasico, it will not mean that we have won or lost the League. The League is in our hands.’
Barcelona’s last-gasp win against Valladolid fired them just one point behind Atletico Madrid
Barcelona endured a nightmare start to the campaign, finding themselves 10 points behind a rampant, if unsteady, Atletico at the turn of the year.
A 19-match unbeaten streak in LaLiga, however, has restored hope of domestic glory – and victory in the Clasico will send them top for the first time in almost 300 days.
The last-gasp strike from Ousmane Dembele against Valladolid fired the Nou Camp giants just a single point behind Atletico.
As highlighted by de Jong, the result means that Barcelona will win the title by winning all their remaining fixtures.
Ronald Koeman’s charges next take on Real Madrid in El Clasico and can move top of the table
Zinedine Zidane said he hopes the clash proves not to be the last time he faces Lionel Messi
Their bid will start against arch rivals Real Madrid – and Zinedine Zidane hopes the meeting proves not to be the last time Lionel Messi faces his team.
‘I hope it’s not (Messi’s last Clasico), I want him to stay at Barcelona, it’s good for the Spanish league,’ Zidane said in a press conference.
Reigning champions Real sit two points behind Barcelona and would also go top with a heavy swing in goal difference in another twist for the three-horse race.
Barcelona may even be able to seal the double this term, meanwhile, with an encounter against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final on April 17 still to come.
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