Barcelona confident about completing domestic treble despite European exit
Barcelona find themselves knocked out of even the UEFA Europa League for the second consecutive year after their recent collapse at Old Trafford. Leading by a goal at half-time, the Catalans let the game slip from their hands as they conceded twice in 45 minutes.
The European exit is seen as a failure by several fans, for it would be Barcelona’s title to lose had they just powered past Manchester United. Yet, within the club, they continue to search for positives to cling onto after the elimination.
According to reports from Mundo Deportivo, the coaching staff and players remain convinced of their chances to win both La Liga and the Copa del Rey. The two trophies, alongside the Supercopa de Espana, would cap off a special domestic treble for Xavi’s side.
Keeping the domestic target in mind, the defeat to Manchester United is seen as a blessing in disguise. With European nights off the calendar and the team better rested, Xavi’s men can completely invest their focus on the two competitions they remain involved in.
The Blaugranas are in a comfortable situation in the league, eight points clear of Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid. Moreover, Los Blancos’ focus on the UCL could also play a big role in helping Barcelona on their way to La Liga.
The Copa de Rey is slightly trickier.
Barcelona face Real Madrid in the two-legged semifinal tie, the first of which is scheduled for next week. Going up against perhaps the most knockout format-tailored team in the world, the Azulgranas will have to produce 180 minutes of flawless football to qualify.
The three Clasicos scheduled over the next 45 days will be crucial in Barcelona’s hunt for the domestic treble. Three wins will all but guarantee them the achievement, but any slip-up could prove costly.