Martino bemoans Barça profligacy

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino rued his side's profligacy in front of goal as their Spanish La Liga title hopes were all but ended by a 1-0 defeat away to Granada on Saturday. The Catalans dominated after Yacine Brahimi had fired Granada into a 16th minute lead, but despite enjoying more than 80 percent possession and having 29 efforts on goal, they failed to find a way past inspired Granada goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis.

Defeat saw Barça slip to third in the table with just five games to play as Real Madrid beat Almeria 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu, whilst Atletico Madrid could move four points clear of Martino's men with a win over Getafe on Sunday.

"We no longer have matters in our own hands, but I couldn't ask for anything more from the players," he said. "They tried in every way possible. They created plenty of chances, but today it wasn't to be. I can't criticise them for anything apart from obviously not finishing off the chances we had."

Barça have endured a hellish week as they were also dumped out of the UEFA Champions League before the semi-finals for the first time in seven years by Atletico in midweek. The last realistic hope for Martino's men of winning some silverware this season therefore comes on Wednesday when they face Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final. However, the Argentine insisted his side will be up for the fight against Real having already beaten Los Blancos twice this season.

I can't criticise them for anything apart from obviously not finishing off the chances we had.
Gerardo Martino, Barcelona manager on his side's defeat to Granada

"Obviously after the defeats we have had in the Champions League and the league the dressing room feels as if it has let important opportunities go, but the game on Wednesday doesn't depend on the Champions League or La Liga. It is a final and we have to try and win it."

Atletico could also now seal their first title since the 1995/1996 season before they travel to face Barça  at the Camp Nou for the sixth time this season on the final day of the campaign. Martino, though, insisted Barça wouldn't give up the fight to retain their title until it is mathematically beyond them.

"It is clear that I cannot feel good after the results we have had. However, that also doesn't mean that we won't fight until the end. We can't confuse the sadness we feel after a disappointing result with giving up. We will never give up until it is mathematically impossible."