sport

Adriano eyes Barca victory

Barcelona defender Adriano has called for his side to produce more intensity after they conceded ground in the title race following their shock defeat to Real Sociedad.

The 3-1 loss last weekend saw Barca fall three points behind fierce rivals Real Madrid at the top of the table and only ahead of third-placed Atletico Madrid on goal difference.

However, while Atletico and Real face each other in the Madrid derby on Sunday, Gerardo Martino's side seemingly have the ideal opportunity to get back on track with a home tie against lowly Almeria.

"We are very much looking forward to this chance to turn the page following the game in Anoeta," Adriano told a pre-match press conference on Friday. "All we are thinking about is winning everything from now on.

"We learn from defeats and what happened at Real Sociedad taught us a lesson. We need to be more intense to make sure nothing like that happens again."

The players and Martino have come in for some strong criticism this week, but Adriano added: "Personally, I take criticism as something positive and use it to try to improve, (although) sometimes we have come in for criticism that we haven't understood.

"We are still alive in three competitions and now have to try to make up the lost ground between us and Real Madrid."

Almeria are 16th in La Liga, four points outside the relegation places, and midfielder Verza is well aware that Barca will have extra motivation this weekend.

"They are the favourites because they are fighting to win the title. They slipped up and have gone three points behind Real Madrid, so they will want to redeem themselves for that defeat in front of their fans," he said.

"They will want to silence their critics and prove they are still the same, strong team and that this was just a blip and nothing else."