Barcelona keep 'rising' up La Liga table after emphatic win over Osasuna

A 4-0 victory at Camp Nou moves the Catalans up to third in the table but Xavi rules out title chances

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Barcelona registered their fourth consecutive La Liga win on Sunday after Ferran Torres scored twice in the 4-0 victory over Osasuna at Camp Nou.

The result moved Barca into the top three with 51 points, level with fourth-placed Atletico Madrid and five points behind second-placed Sevilla, but with a game in hand over their nearest rivals.

Torres, signed from Manchester City in January, opened the scoring 14 minutes into the game with a penalty after Gavi was tripped from behind inside the area.

Seven minutes later, the Spain forward doubled his tally, receiving a brilliant pass by Ousmane Dembele in behind the defence before beating the keeper with a delicate finish.

Dembele was unstoppable on the right flank and five minutes later the French winger teed up former Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, another January arrival, to net Barca's third from close range.

Substitute Riqui Puig completed the victory when he found the net after collecting a rebound in the 75th minute.

"I’m really happy that we won and are rising," Torres, 22, told reporters. "Our objective is to keep climbing in the standings and keep improving game by game."

Barca manager Xavi Hernandez was pleased with the result but ruled out the possibility of his team making a late run for the title, with fierce rivals Real Madrid holding a 12-point lead at the top of the standings.

"I don't think the league is possible this season, Real Madrid are too far ahead," Xavi said when asked about the importance of next Sunday's Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu. "We need to keep winning and they have to lose three or four games, it's not realistic."

Having dropped as low as ninth in November, when Ronald Koeman was fired, Barca are closing in on second-placed Sevilla, who dropped more points in a 1-1 draw at Rayo Vallecano earlier on Sunday.

The fight to finish in the top four and secure Champions League qualification is intensifying, with only four points separating Barcelona from Real Sociedad in sixth.

Sevilla were the only team in the top seven who played and did not win this weekend and they are now looking over their shoulders after a sixth draw in their last eight league matches.

Real Madrid, who comfortably lead with 63 points from 27 games, will play at 16th-placed Mallorca on Monday.

Wins for Real Betis, Real Sociedad and Villarreal moved them closer to Sevilla. Fifth-placed Betis have 49 points, Real Sociedad, 47, and Villarreal, in seventh, have 45.

Updated: March 14, 2022, 4:39 AM
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