Business as usual for Nolito, Granada
Barcelona's next assignment on their seemingly unstoppable march to the La Liga title is Saturday's visit to Granada - where they will be wary of slipping up like Real Madrid did two weeks earlier. Barça, who are 12 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid at the top of the table, go into the contest at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes having won 20 of their 23 league games this season and suffered only one loss.
They will be mindful of the fact that Real suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at the same ground on 2 February, though, when new Granada boss Lucas Alcaraz made a dream start. Since then the Andalusians, currently 15th, have also recorded a 3-0 victory at rock-bottom Deportivo La Coruna, and their forward Nolito is in confident mood ahead of the Barcelona match.
Nolito, who is on loan at Granada from Benfica until the end of the season, said: "We are preparing our normal game, as we prepared for Madrid and Deportivo. Football is 11 against 11. They can win, but some day they will have to lose, right? We have to play like we have been playing. Barcelona in a second can make a goal. We have to try to have more guts and outrun them."
Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas feels the Catalan club have a "very complicated" fortnight ahead of them. After the Granada game, Barça visit AC Milan in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie, before returning to La Liga action when they host Sevilla. They will then take on Real Madrid twice in quick succession, first at home in the Copa del Rey and then away in the league play.
"The next two weeks are extremely important," Fabregas said. "It will be very complicated but we have to have the same confidence that we've had up until now."