Barcelona would have been delighted if you had told them at the start of the season that they would have an eight-point advantage over Real Madrid at the start of February. Even more so after their El Clasico defeat in the the first round. Now though, they will play with the pressure of being favourites.
“From experience I tell you that there is a lot left in La Liga,” Jordi Alba explained to Marca.
“Madrid will push hard until the end, and it will be very difficult. It is a considerable distance, but we cannot relax. It is in our hands to win it.”
He also highlighted the importance of 2023 so far for Barcelona, with the Blaugrana winning every game since they drew with Espanyol on the 31st of December. One in particular had a major impact on the Barcelona dressing room, the Spanish Supercup win over Real Madrid.
“It was a turning point. It was against the direct rival of all Cules and that motivates you even more. It was a very good final, we were superior and we deserved the title. It gave the team confidence, especially for the youngest ones, because it was their first title. For them it was very special. You could see it in their faces.”
Alba also highlighted the difference between this year and previous seasons for a Barcelona side that has struggled to compete for the title over the last two seasons.
“We believe that we can win. We have played good games, others not so much, but in which we got the three points, which is the important thing. Before, if we didn’t play so well, we didn’t get the victory. Now we compete.”
Barcelona have the chance to widen that gap to 11 points on Sunday night, ahead of Real Madrid’s game on Wednesday against Elche. With the return of the Europa League next week and two El Clasicos to come in the Copa del Rey, no doubt it will be more difficult for Barcelona to maintain their league run.