Guardiola mocks critics as Barça try to rebound from Real setback

Europe

Pep Guardiola's Barcelona can go some way to healing the wounds of their midweek cup final defeat to Real Madrid by taking a giant step towards their third successive Spanish title tonight at home to struggling Osasuna.

Barcelona are eight points ahead of Real Madrid, who play before them tonight in Valencia, with six games left to play. Guardiola has warned his players to get over losing the first trophy of the season to Madrid. "If the players are sad or angry then they should run more and they will soon forget about what happened in midweek. If football you lose more than you win. We have been lucky enough to live through something extraordinary in recent seasons."

The Barcelona manager also reacted sarcastically to a question about how he valued winning the league. "It will be a disaster," he said. "We will have to change the coach and the president and it will be the end of an era. I will be very content if we win the league but perhaps people will be sad if that is all we win. These players are extraordinary and we will miss them when they are not here."

Despite being within touching distance of another title Guardiola could still rest players ahead of Wednesday's Champions League first leg semi-final against Real. "People say we played badly in the first half but Madrid also played that match. They are a great side with a great coach. But we will attack them all the same at the Bernabeu."

Carles Puyol will sit out today's match but David Villa will continue in attack and is looking for his first goal in 11 games.

Real Madrid go back to Valencia where they won the Cup in midweek. And with the game coming after post-final celebrations and before their next big test in the Champions League, Jose Mourinho is expected to rest players. Valencia are on a run of three straight wins including a victory over Villarreal which almost assures them a third-placed finish.

As Guardiola's injury list lengthens Mourinho may also have to do without a key player for the rest of the season after midfielder Sami Khedira picked up a thigh injury.

In Italy Milan travel to Brescia today where three points against the relegation-threatened side will all but tie up the Scudetto. Napoli, who are six points off the lead with five games left, visit Palermo.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent