Alves focused on Barcelona run-in

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The Independent Football

Barcelona defender Dani Alves quickly switched his attention to Saturday's showdown with Sevilla following last night's 4-1 defeat of Tenerife, describing the clash with his former club as "key".

Barca survived a brief scare against relegation-threatened Tenerife but three goals in the final 27 minutes at a rain-drenched Nou Camp saw them move four points clear of second-placed Real Madrid at the top of the standings.

Madrid will reduce that difference back to a single point if they can win at fourth-placed Real Mallorca tonight, and if that is the case then this weekend's penultimate round of fixtures could prove crucial.

Madrid, who face lowly Malaga in their final game, are at home to Athletic Bilbao, while Barca face a testing trip to Sevilla before completing their season against second-bottom Real Valladolid at the Nou Camp.

Both of the top two will be favourites to win on the final weekend, which makes what happens in the next four days potentially crucial.

"Against Sevilla it will be a difficult game. With the players we have we must be calm, but not relaxed. It will be a key game, and all the time we are getting closer to the end of the season," said Alves, who made his 100th appearance for Barca last night having only joined the club two years ago from Sevilla.

Barca's win over Tenerife took them onto 93 points, which broke the existing top-flight record in Spain for a league of 20 or 22 teams, which was the 92 points set by Fabio Capello's Real Madrid in the 1996/97 campaign.

Alves said on his club's website: "We need to win the six points that remain to reach our objective. This is a very tough league, and in another season we would already have won it."

Looking at tonight's match at the Ono Estadi, the Brazil international said: "Mallorca are on a good run and they are playing for a lot - the Champions League. I guess that against Madrid they will go out to win the game, but we have to continue focusing on us."

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