Luis Suarez is eager to stay at Barcelona amid MLS interest, while Chelsea may have a choice to make.

Suarez, 33, is out of contract at the LaLiga giants next year and has been linked with a move away.

The forward seemingly has options.

 

TOP STORY – SUAREZ WANTS BARCELONA STAY AMID INTER MIAMI INTEREST

Suarez has no intention of leaving Barcelona, according to Sport.

It comes after Mundo Deportivo reported Suarez has an offer from MLS club Inter Miami, but wants to extend his stay at Barca beyond 2021.

Suarez has scored 19 goals in 34 games in 2019-20.

 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea are linked with further moves this close season. But Sport Bild reports Atletico Madrid are relaxed over the Premier League club's interest in Jan Oblak, with the LaLiga side doubting Chelsea can afford both the goalkeeper and Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz.

- Philippe Coutinho is expected to make a permanent move from Barcelona. Mundo Deportivo claims Arsenal are best-placed to land the playmaker and Barca want only money for the Brazil international.

- Bayern Munich have set their price for Thiago Alcantara, who is linked with a move to Liverpool. Sport Bild says the Bundesliga champions want £27.2m (€30m) for the midfielder.

- Could Manchester City have received a transfer boost? Sport Bild reports David Alaba's contract talks with Bayern Munich are at a stalemate. Alaba is out of contract at Bayern next year and has been linked to City.

- Jesse Lingard's time at Manchester United could be over. The Daily Mail says United are prepared to sell the midfielder, who has been linked to Roma and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu expects Lionel Messi to stay at the club but appears doubtful of deals for Neymar or Lautaro Martinez.

Messi's frustrated outburst after Barca lost the LaLiga title race to Real Madrid prompted speculation he could look to leave the club when his contract expires next year.

It has also been suggested the Argentina star has a tense relationship with Bartomeu, having previously criticised unnamed members of the board for a perceived lack of support for the players.

Bartomeu, though, is not worried about the future of the club captain.

"Messi has said many times that he wants to retire here and I have no doubt that he will renew," he told Mundo Deportivo.

Bartomeu is more sceptical about Barca's transfer plans due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Barca players agreed to a 70 per cent pay cut in March and volunteered to make contributions to help club staff take home a full salary during the height of Spain's 'state of alarm'.

The Catalans have nonetheless been hit hard by the crisis, meaning any transfers before next season are almost certain to involve player exchanges or require sales first.

With that in mind, Bartomeu appears pessimistic about bringing Neymar back to the club from Paris Saint-Germain or landing Inter striker Martinez, their top target.

"Now, we're making decisions and the players, if they don't come in an exchange, it's very difficult for them to come," he said when asked about Neymar.

On Martinez, he added: "Yes, we have spoken with Inter but now the issue is on hold."

However, Bartomeu believes the squad is already looking promising given a number of players are due to arrive in the coming weeks.

"We already have seven new players," he said. "We have bet on Trincao, Pedrito and Matheus [Fernandes] for the future, and they will have first-team numbers alongside [Ronald] Araujo, Riqui [Puig] and Ansu [Fati]. [Miralem] Pjanic will integrate from the beginning."

For now, Bartomeu's priority is extending the contract of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, which expires in 2022, even though he accepts the Germany international is unlikely to earn a substantial pay rise.

"For me, it's Marc-Andre ter Stegen," he said when asked about the most important renewal. "Not only for the quality of keeper but for his personality as a player, his way of being. He's a pillar for the dressing room and the future.

"He's very young for a goalkeeper and he's already among the elite. And at 28, he's one of the three best in the world.

"He understands what's happening in society and he knows that, given the decrease in income for clubs like Barca, he has to adjust his salary. All the players are doing that and we're working on it.

"I don't get into figures. I say that they adapt their salaries to the level of income that the club has right now and will have in future."

On the future of striker Luis Suarez, he added: "Luis has a contract that, based on the number of games he plays. It automatically renews for the 2021-22 season."

Luis Suarez had "no respect for anyone" in Liverpool training, which was a sign he was going to be a "top player" according to Reds great Steven Gerrard.

Uruguay striker Suarez scored 82 goals in 113 appearances during a prolific three-and-a-half-year stay on Merseyside between January 2011 and July 2014.

Suarez netted 31 Premier League goals during a sensational 2013-14 campaign, which saw Liverpool agonisingly lose out on the title to top-flight rivals Manchester City.

Former captain Gerrard remembered how Suarez's dogged determination and desire to fight was always on show at Melwood.

It was that hunger that convinced Gerrard almost immediately he was playing alongside a special talent, even if it did mean the Reds' defenders had a tough time of it in training.

"A lot of strikers that we used to sign did have respect for the likes of Jamie Carragher and other names around the squad but he had no respect for anyone in training, in a good way," Gerrard told BBC's Match of the Day Top 10 podcast about the now Barcelona superstar.

"He'd be backing into them, he'd be leaving a bit in on them, he'd have elbows up and I'd be thinking that's not normally what you'd see in training, you'd normally see a lot of respect but Luis would run through anyone and have a defender up the wall at any given moment.

"You knew straight away in days rather than weeks that he was going to be a top player for Liverpool."

It was during the 2013-14 campaign that the Reds had the destiny of the title in their own hands before a 2-0 loss to Chelsea, remembered for Gerrard's infamous slip that allowed Demba Ba to open the scoring.

Six years later and Liverpool are champions of England for the first time in 30 years, a feat Gerrard says will help to "bury a few demons".

"First and foremost, for me, it was fantastic to bury a few demons, from 2014 it was certainly a big relief," added the Rangers boss.

"Being a Liverpool fan and ex-player, I've known the big, long wait and I'm still in touch with a lot of the players that are in that dressing room so a lot of them shared that pain with me.

"It was fantastic for everyone connected to the club, but it was mixed emotions in many ways because of my own experiences, being a fan and ex-player and a lot of my family are Liverpool fans as well.

"To be honest with you, I'm still on a really big high watching all of the TV coverage and seeing all of the emotions flying about."

Lionel Messi secured a record seventh Pichichi award after the Barcelona star finished the 2019-20 season as the leading scorer in LaLiga.

The Argentinian equalled Athletic Bilbao great Telmo Zarra's record of six awards last season, but he is now out on his own after another superb campaign in front of goal.

His double in the final-day 5-0 rout of Deportivo Alaves took him to 25 goals in 33 appearances.

It was not enough to guide Barca to a third consecutive title, however, with Real Madrid pulling away in the final weeks to seal top spot.

Madrid striker Karim Benzema was four goals behind on 21, while Villarreal's Gerard Moreno was third with 18 goals, two ahead of Messi's Barca team-mate Luis Suarez.

Luis Suarez has shown Barcelona how they can put their LaLiga disappointment behind them and end the season on a high in the Champions League, according to Bojan.

Barca's title defence faltered following LaLiga's resumption from a three-month suspension amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Real Madrid winning 10 straight games and securing top spot with a 2-1 victory over Villarreal on Thursday.

That result coincided with Quique Setien's side going down 2-1 at home to 10-man Osasuna, a match that saw the experienced trio of Suarez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba start on the bench.

Suarez acknowledged prior to the fixture that Barca's title hopes were effectively over, while Lionel Messi said following the defeat things must change or they will not win their Champions League last-16 second leg against Napoli on August 8.

Former Barca attacker Bojan believes Suarez's comments were motivational rather than defeatist, ensuring the Blaugrana keep their focus and aim to reach next month's mini-tournament in Lisbon.

"I can only applaud the message that Luis Suarez has repeated in all the interviews he granted in recent days," Bojan wrote for Catalan publication SPORT.

"That a reference like him, a striker who has just surpassed [Laszlo] Kubala in goals [for Barcelona], avoids looking for excuses and, above all, points to the dressing room itself as the biggest factor in what happened this season seems to me not only admirable, but also an exercise in humility. Not referees, not VAR, not anything like that.

"Honestly, I am comforted by hearing his words because only from analysing what you have done wrong yourself can you change and improve. And not only that, it shows the dressing room suffers, it suffers with each defeat, with each title that evaporates.

"In addition, Suarez, obviously, is laying the groundwork for the team to react, step forward, avoid feeling free from all guilt and end the season by winning the Champions League.

"Luis, in fact, does nothing but encourage his team-mates to believe. He is pointing towards Lisbon, where the Champions League is played in August."

Bojan said it would be "essential" to address this season's shortcomings in the future, but that for now the best route would be to follow Suarez's lead.

Setien admitted after the Osasuna loss he was unsure if he would still be in charge for the Champions League campaign.

Having been on the receiving of surprise comebacks from Roma and Liverpool over the past two seasons, Bojan believes the fact the final rounds of the competition will not be conducted over two legs boosts Barca's chances.

"If they reach the quarter-finals, they will arrive in Lisbon to play a tournament without two-legged ties in which, in recent seasons, Barca have suffered too much mentally," he wrote.

"Nor should physique be a key factor. Three games at 90 minutes. And with the talent to dream."

Antoine Griezmann missed Barcelona's clash against Osasuna, while Luis Suarez was only named among the substitutes, as Quique Setien's men looked to keep their slim LaLiga title hopes alive.

Barca began the penultimate round of fixtures four points adrift of leaders Real Madrid, who knew a win over Villarreal would see the title return to the Spanish capital.

Anything but a Barcelona victory would also hand Los Blancos the trophy, and the Blaugrana were weakened by Griezmann's absence against Osasuna due to a thigh injury.

Suarez, a half-time replacement for Griezmann in Barca's last game at the weekend, was on the bench again but Setien did make four changes.

Ivan Rakitic, Martin Braithwaite, Junior Firpo and Ansu Fati were those to come in to the starting line-up.

Quique Setien expects to remain as Barcelona coach next season despite it looking unlikely he will guide them to LaLiga success.

Setien replaced Ernesto Valverde in January and was appointed on a two-and-a-half-year deal, with his possession-based brand of football thought to be a good fit for the club after fans grew frustrated with his predecessor.

But the former Real Betis coach has not been able to inspire the kind of improvement some hoped for, while draws with Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid at the end of June look set to cost them in the title race.

Barca are four points adrift of Real Madrid, who will clinch the title on Thursday if they beat Villarreal at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

Club icon Xavi has been frequently linked with a return to Barca as coach, though Setien believes it will still be him at the helm next term.

"Of course, I see myself training Barca next season," he told reporters. "I have already experienced this before.

"The reality is that the expectations one has haven't been achieved, or not yet, but the work done is what must be valued.

"This is what I understand, or what I would like to see assessed. Of course, I think about next year's continuity."

Regarding the seemingly imminent confirmation of failure in LaLiga, he added: "I take my share of the responsibility, but not all of it.

"Making that assessment of finding a culprit always focuses on the coach. I don't feel that we did things so badly, drawing three games [since the resumption]. More merit should go to Madrid, who have won every game."

Luis Suarez has already effectively accepted defeat in the title race publicly, though Setien is retaining faith Madrid will slip up.

"That is his opinion. It is not yet [over] because anything can happen, but it is difficult," Setien continued.

"It requires a team that has won every game [since the season resumed] to lose. We have had three draws that make this difference.

"Obviously Madrid have done better because they have won all eight games. It is possible that a circumstance can arise [where Barca can win the title]. We will fight until the end."

Luis Suarez insisted Barcelona only had themselves to blame for letting LaLiga slip away, saying winning the title was now impossible.

With two league games remaining, Barca are four points adrift of rivals and leaders Real Madrid.

Quique Setien's men looked on track for the title but have dropped points in three of their past seven matches.

Suarez said Barcelona needed to take responsibility for letting the league slip, admitting it was impossible to win – even with Madrid yet to officially seal the crown.

"In the league you have to be self-critical – we let it escape ourselves," he told Mundo Deportivo.

"We are aware that we depended on ourselves and do not find any excuse. Now, for our pride and for the prestige of Barca, we have to win the remaining two games and then focus fully on the only title we can fight, which is the Champions League.

"If we perform at the level of why we are at this club, we can fight anyone. A failure in a match can be expensive, so we have to be very vigilant and we need everyone to be able to get the Champions League."

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and defender Gerard Pique have been among those to question the use of the VAR after several decisions went Real Madrid's way in recent matches.

However, Suarez refused to use that as an excuse for his side, instead lamenting the draws against Sevilla, Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid.

"It is clear that if we had been up to the task in games like against Sevilla, which is a rival that can tie you, but especially in Vigo, which was a very hard blow and Atletico Madrid right after," the forward said.

"Minimising the details of the VAR is sometimes difficult. Yes, Gerard and the president made their demonstrations public, but I think that the rivals were also fighting important things like Athletic [Bilbao], Getafe … and they were the ones affected.

"This time, not only were we harmed, but I think we shouldn't look for so many excuses, but rather be self-critical and face reality."

Barcelona head coach Quique Setien lauded Luis Suarez after the star forward moved third on the club's all-time goalscoring list thanks to his match-winning display against Espanyol.

Suarez surpassed Ladislau Kubala with his 195th Barca goal from 278 appearances in Wednesday's 1-0 win over LaLiga rivals Espanyol, who were relegated as a result.

Only two players have scored more goals for Barca – superstar captain Lionel Messi (630) and Cesar (232) – following his 56th-minute strike at Camp Nou midweek.

And Setien was full of praise for Suarez, who arrived from Premier League giants Liverpool in 2014.

"It wasn't difficult to figure out Luis Suarez was eventually going to score goals again as he continues to play games," Setien told reporters.

"When you're not playing for a while you need time to get back into your rhythm. That's something you only get through minutes on the pitch.

"He knows how to score goals and he's always showed that throughout his career. He did it, which moves him up to third in Barcelona's all-time scoring list and you can't take that away from him."

Barca moved within a point of bitter rivals and leaders Real Madrid, who have a game in hand as they prepare for Friday's match against Deportivo Alaves.

Setien's Barca are nine games unbeaten following back-to-back wins, though they were far from their best after Sunday's 4-1 rout at Villarreal.

"I think we certainly weren't brilliant," Setien said. "It was a difficult match. We managed to win and we'd all like to repeat, of course, the same performance we produced against Villarreal but it's not easy.

"You always need to take your opponents into account. In any case, I'm very happy with the win because I watch practically all the matches in LaLiga and I see a lot of teams are winning 1-0 and finding it a struggle. It's a very level playing field right now."

Barca substitute Ansu Fati was sent off after coming on at the start of the second half, while Espanyol's Pol Lozano was also dismissed.

Five minutes after coming on teenager Fati was heading off again, a VAR review upgrading his caution to a red card as he was punished when a high right foot caught Fernando Calero.

"He was very humble afterwards," Setien added on Fati. "He came to talk to me. He felt very bad about what happened.

"He wasn't provoked. He went in to win the ball. After I watched it, the challenge looked harder than it actually was. It's a moment that could have been avoided. When he goes to win the ball I saw he tried to fold his leg back so there wouldn't be any contact, but the decision was made.

"He'll be affected by this and we'll see what the punishment is but it's a moment that I don't blame him for."

Barcelona star Luis Suarez surpassed Ladislau Kubala for third spot on the club's all-time goalscoring list.

Suarez leapfrogged Kubala with his 195th Barca goal from 278 appearances in Wednesday's 1-0 win over LaLiga rivals Espanyol.

The 33-year-old forward broke the deadlock in the 56th minute to move Barca within a point of leaders Real Madrid, while relegating Espanyol.

Suarez already eclipsed Josep Samitier's 184-goal haul in October, with only two players above him – superstar captain Lionel Messi (630) and Cesar (232).

Since arriving from Premier League giants Liverpool in 2014, Suarez has flourished and even contributed 97 assists for Barca.

Suarez has won four LaLiga titles, the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup among other honours at Camp Nou.

Luis Suarez said Barcelona must be ready if LaLiga leaders Real Madrid drop points as the title race nears its conclusion.

Two-time defending champions Barca kept their slim title hopes alive with a 1-0 victory over rivals Espanyol on Wednesday.

Suarez scored the only goal of the match in the 56th minute to relegate Espanyol midweek, while moving Barca to within a point of Madrid.

Madrid can restore their four-point advantage against Deportivo Alaves on Friday and while Barca only have three games remaining, star forward Suarez insisted the Catalan giants have to be ready to pounce on any slip-ups.

"What we have to do is win our next three games," Suarez, who moved third on Barca's list of all-time scorers, said afterwards. "Whatever Madrid do is up to them.

"If the rival drops points then fantastic, we have to think about being there if they do."

Barca were far from their best at Camp Nou, where substitute Ansu Fati was sent off after coming on at the start of the second half, while Espanyol's Pol Lozano was also dismissed.

But Barca managed to extend their unbeaten run to nine games following back-to-back triumphs.

Suarez added: "We knew it was going to be difficult. We knew their situation. We have to be aware of the fact that we put in a great performance on Sunday and were still feeling the consequences of that physically. The important thing is to win and to get three more points.

"I think if I didn't score in the first half or Barcelona didn't create more chances, that's virtue of the rival, who were very well organised.

"I think they make it difficult for Nelson Semedo and Jordi Alba to push up on the flanks. But eventually the chance came and I'm delighted to be able to take it.

"I didn't see Ansu Fati's [red card] because there was a player in the way and the other one I didn't see either, there was another rival blocking my view.

"But in both cases VAR – which is there to help in these kind of situations – was able to help the referee to take the right decisions."

After his goalscoring display in the 4-1 rout of Villarreal on Sunday, Antoine Griezmann was handed another start alongside Suarez and Lionel Messi.

"It's the manager who takes the decision," Suarez said. "He wanted to find a formula, it's the formula he's trying at the moment. It's the first year of Antoine here so we know it's difficult – the adaptation period. The other day we could all enjoy a brilliant performance from Antoine Griezmann."

Espanyol knew anything but a derby victory at Camp Nou on Wednesday would relegate them to the second tier for the first time since 1994 but they were unable to preserve their top-flight status.

"I think today's match I'm proud of my team-mates, we had chances," Javi Lopez said. "If I'm here now it's to ask for forgiveness from our fans because we know these are tough moments for us but also for our fans. It's been a season in which nothing has gone right for us.

"I thank the fans but apologise again because it's the players' fault. We apologise again and tell them we are committed to coming back stronger and will fight for this club badge. That's all I've got to say – sorry to the fans, that's the minimum we can do.

"I think we all assume the responsibility in the changing room. We're most responsible for this. The players are out on the pitch and the ones who fault it is. These are really tough moments for all of us. We just have to be absolutely committed to come back stronger than ever before. I'm convinced that we will."

Luis Suarez's second-half strike consigned Barcelona's rivals Espanyol to a 1-0 defeat and relegation from LaLiga in a match that saw two red cards.

Espanyol knew anything but a derby victory at Camp Nou on Wednesday would relegate them to the second tier for the first time since 1994.

They were given hope when substitute Ansu Fati was sent off five minutes after coming on at the start of the second half, only for the numbers to be swiftly evened up when Pol Lozano was also dismissed.

Suarez capped off a crazy six-minute passage by scoring the only goal as Barca moved a point behind leaders Real Madrid, who have a game in hand, in the title race.

In an all-or-nothing game for Espanyol, they were the better side in the first half, while Barca failed to have a single shot on target.

Adrian Embarba was the first to test Marc-Andre ter Stegen when he got in down the right, only for the German goalkeeper to thwart his effort with an outstretched right foot.

Espanyol continued to have joy on the counter attack and after Ter Stegen prevented a Clement Lenglet own goal, Didac Vila's effort hit the outside of the post just before half-time.

Quique Setien hoped Fati's half-time introduction would have an impact on his team and it certainly did, though not how he had imagined.

Five minutes after coming on the teenager was heading off again, a VAR review upgrading his caution to a red card as he was punished when a high right foot caught Fernando Calero.

However, Espanyol's one-man advantage lasted only three minutes, as Lozano joined Fati in being dismissed.

As was the case in Fati's instance, Lozano was initially awarded a yellow card that was changed to a red as replays showed he caught Gerard Pique on the shin when going over the top of the ball.

And it was Barcelona who adjusted better to going a man down as Suarez soon put them ahead, following up when Lionel Messi's effort was blocked after a brilliant Antoine Griezmann flick.

A vicious Messi volley was superbly saved by Diego Lopez and Espanyol could not muster an equaliser, let alone the two goals they needed, as their fate was sealed.

 

What does it mean? Espanyol go down with a fight

Espanyol have looked doomed for months, but they at least showed plenty of fight, even if it was a case of too little, too late.

It might be too late for Barca in the title race too with just three games to play, though Setien will at least be encouraged by Griezmann, Messi and Suarez's role in their goal ahead of the Champions League resumption next month.

Griezi on the eye again

A lovely goal at Villarreal last time out suggested Griezmann may finally be finding his feet at Camp Nou, and he had an instrumental role in the winner here too.

Though he will not be credited with either a goal or an assist, his vision to initially tee up Messi was fantastic.

Youthful naivety from Lozano

Fati deserves criticism for raising his foot way too high to prompt his red card, but Lozano had to be smarter when he was dismissed moments later in his first LaLiga start.

To rush into a challenge with Pique in midfield was ill-judged and Espanyol barely had any opportunity to make use of their one-man advantage as a result.

What's next?

Barcelona travel to Real Valladolid next on Saturday while their city rivals host Eibar the following day in their penultimate top-flight home game.

Barcelona reached 9,000 goals in all official competitions following their 4-1 rout of Villarreal in LaLiga on Sunday.

Barca celebrated the milestone thanks to teenage sensation Ansu Fati, who came off the bench and scored the team's fourth goal away to Villarreal.

The two-time reigning LaLiga champions, who are four points behind bitter rivals Real Madrid with four matches remaining, netted their first official goal in April 1909.

Just over 111 years later, Barca have scored their 9,000th goal – superstar captain and six-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi contributing 630.

Of Barca's overall tally, 6,165 goals have been scored in LaLiga, followed by the Copa del Rey (1,474) and the Champions League (543).

Antoine Griezmann ended his goal drought with a stunning finish and Lionel Messi tormented Villarreal as Barcelona cruised to a 4-1 LaLiga victory on Sunday.

Barca's grip on the title had slipped with back-to-back draws and bitter rivals Real Madrid moved seven points clear at the top with a win at Athletic Bilbao earlier in the day, but the champions responded at Estadio de la Ceramica.

An early Pau Torres own goal put Barca in front and the mercurial Messi set up sensational strikes from Luis Suarez and Griezmann after the in-form Gerard Moreno equalised, with Ansu Fati adding a fourth late on.

Griezmann had gone eight games without a goal, but silenced his critics with a moment of class in a breathtaking attacking display from Barca, with Messi – who had a goal disallowed and hit the crossbar – starring at the end of a week in which his future has been the subject of more speculation.

Previously in-form Villarreal have still not beaten the Catalan giants since 2008 and their first defeat since the season restarted is a blow to their bid for a Champions League spot.

Barca made a blistering start and they were rewarded when Torres turned the ball into his own net just three minutes in with Griezmann waiting to pounce on Jordi Alba's cross behind him.

The Blaugrana were causing the home side all sorts of problems going forward but looked vulnerable on the break and Moreno levelled clinically against the run of play with 14 minutes played after Marc-Andre ter Stegen palmed away Santi Cazorla's strike.

Barca wasted little time in regaining the lead, though, Messi running from just inside the Villarreal half and beating two players before finding Suarez, who picked out the far corner with a sublime first-time finish from the edge of the penalty area.

Arturo Vidal and Suarez came close before Griezmann added a third just before half-time, lobbing Sergio Asenjo with a superb effort after Messi set him up with a cheeky backheel following another penetrating run.

The busy Asenjo denied Suarez and Vidal after the break and Messi had a goal chalked off after VAR ruled he had been offside before tucking in Sergi Roberto's cutback.

Fati came off the bench to put the icing on the cake, cutting in from the left to fire home and Messi rattled the crossbar with a free-kick before Asenjo superbly saved Martin Braithwaite's header following up.

  

What does it mean? Relief for Setien

Barca boss Quique Setien has come under fire, but his players appear to be behind him on the evidence of this performance.

On a day when it was revealed Xavi, linked with the Barca hotseat, will stay at Al-Sadd, the defending champions showed they will not give up their title without a fight with four games to play.

Messi magic, Griezmann shows his class

Griezmann has had a tough first season at Barca, but he showed what he is capable of with the finish of a player who is anything but short of confidence.

It was Messi who was the star of the show, though, yet again, slipping away from defenders with ease and laying on two goals with sheer brilliance and not looking like a man eager to leave Camp Nou.

Semedo all at sea

Barca full-back Nelson Semedo looked vulnerable defensively in the first half and was hooked off early in the second. Setien's men were too open at the back in the first half and Semedo was caught out too often.

What's next?

Barca host lowly Espanyol in a derby clash on Wednesday, with Villarreal facing a tricky trip to sixth-placed Getafe on the same evening.

Quique Setien felt Barcelona lacked a cutting edge, as well as a bit of luck, following the 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo - leaving them with "little margin for error" in the LaLiga title race.

Luis Suarez scored a brace but Barca were twice unable to hold onto a lead on Saturday, despite dominating for long periods of the game. 

They were impressive in the first half in particular, youngster Riqui Puig catching the eye on his first league start of the season, but only led 1-0 at the break. 

Setien felt the performance in the first 45 minutes deserved more with Barca denied by the woodwork when a Gerard Pique header hit the crossbar prior to Suarez's opener in the 20th minute.

"They took a lot of risks in the last few minutes and they found a goal that gave them a point," Setien told the media. 

"We should not have got into that situation because we were much the better team in the first half.  We had to have gone in at the break with a more comfortable scoreline. 

"We're not in that moment of clarity. 

"We did a lot of things well. It should have been a more comfortable game. 

"We definitely lack conviction to turn our play into goals. The superiority we had in the first half was enough to have won the match and gone into [the second] more relaxed. 

"We're finding it difficult. Scoring is sometimes a question of luck." 

Iago Aspas' late free-kick denied Barcelona victory on the road. While the point picked up is enough to take them top for now, Real Madrid have the opportunity to leapfrog them when they face Espanyol on Saturday.

Zinedine Zidane's squad also have the added cushion of owning the better head-to-head record against their rivals this season.

Setien acknowledges that Barca may now require help from others if they are to retain their crown in Spain.

"We've got little margin for error now and, in theory, we have to win all our games and hope our rival slips up," he admitted. "We'll try to keep picking up maximum points."

Next up for Setien and his players is Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou on Tuesday.

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