Football News

Roura refuses to claim title

Created on Apr. 21, 2013 7:09 AM EST

Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura refused to accept his side were champions-elect in La Liga, after their 1-0 win over Levante.

The minnows stifled the Catalans until Cesc Fabregas' late goal maintained their 13-point lead at the top, ensuring they could mathematically secure the title next weekend against Athletic Bilbao if Real lose the Madrid derby.

But Roura has played down the hype of achieving early domestic glory and has demanded his side to continue their focus.

"We could win La Liga next week? That's only science-fiction at this moment," the 45-year-old told reporters.

"We suffered today and that shows this Liga is very complicated. We hope to win it as soon as possible, but for now we're just focusing on a game at a time."

Striker David Villa missed a first-half penalty on the night, but Roura is adamant the Spain international remains in contention for a starting place in the Champions League semi-final first leg with Bayern Munich, along with Eric Abidal.

"There is no link in saying Villa's 90 minutes today means he won't play on Tuesday," he continued.

"We'll be deciding later. Everyone has chances to play.

"Abidal is special and it's great he played the whole match today. We'll see if he plays against Bayern. He showed he's another option."

With talisman Lionel Messi excluded to recuperate from injury ahead of the upcoming European legs, Roura concluded by paying tribute to Alexis Sanchez, who decisively provided the assist Fabregas' winner.

He added: "Alexis has been playing at a good level for several games now, and we're very happy with how he's been doing lately."

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