Martino: Barça can't make a mistake

Gerardo Martino believes it is Barcelona's own fault that they aren't in a more comfortable position in La Liga despite beating Real Madrid twice this season.

Lionel Messi inspired the Catalans to a 4-3 win at the Bernabeu on Sunday night as he notched his second hat-trick in as many games. Victory brought Barça back into the title race as they now trail leaders Atletico Madrid and Real by just one point with nine rounds remaining.

Last weekend has allowed us to get back in the league. We can't make a mistake.
Gerardo Martino

However, Martino warned that his side can suffer no slip-ups of the kind they have suffered at Real Sociedad and Valladolid in recent weeks if they are to retain their title, starting with Celta Vigo's visit to Camp Nou on Wednesday.

"Last weekend has allowed us to get back in the league," said the Argentinian. "Now we have to continue playing well against Celta and what remains of the league season. We can't make a mistake.

"Our wish is to perform at a high level and to have similar individual performances to those we had on Sunday. The competitions are entering their final stage and if we don't maintain that level it will endanger our chances of winning any titles.

"Generally, we need to be consistent. That is why we are not in a different position today, above all the other teams. If we had maintained consistency in our performances and results, we would be in a much better position."

Xavi given a rest
Martino has left Xavi out of his 18-man squad for the game against Celta, with the derby away to Espanyol and a return to UEFA Champions League action against Atletico Madrid next week in mind.

Pedro Rodriguez, Alexis Sanchez and Marc Bartra are also likely to feature after being left on the bench at the Bernabeu.