Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova is refusing to declare the La Liga title race over, despite seeing his side move 11 points clear of Real Madrid at the weekend.
Under Vilanova, Barca have made an incredible start to the season, picking up 37 points out of 39.
But the Barca boss is not celebrating yet, telling the club’s official website:
“We still have 75 points left to play for and Atletico Madrid are only three points behind us. We have a long way to go,”
“La Liga is not over. I remind you that we have had this advantage before, yet then had to win our match at the Bernabeu (to be sure of success).”
The surprise of the season is how that Atletico have kept pace with Barcelona’s record breaking start and and Diego Simeone’s side are showing no signs of wilting just yet, with the brilliance of Radamel Falcao keeping them in the hunt.
A Madrid derby with Jose Mourinho’s side will test them next week, though, and Vilanova added:
“Atletico are very solid and strong this year, having ended last season on form. Next weekend we have to beat Athletic Bilbao. We don’t care what happens between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. We can’t do anything about that game.”
Diego Simeone is also happy with his sides start to the season and admits they head into next weekend’s Madrid derby ‘in a good state of mind’.
“I am excited by what the players have done. We have 11 wins from the first 13 games, one draw and one defeat and this is credit to the players,” enthused Simeone.
“I am really very satisfied with what they are doing and I hope that they will continue to compete well.”
The Coach was then asked of the upcoming Madrid derby next weekend.
“We will continue to go game by game, the next is against Jaen in the Copa del Rey. We have a good state of mind for the derby, but that does not guarantee anything.
“Really it would be disrespectful to Jaen if we looked beyond their game. After the game on Wednesday there will be time to talk about the derby.”