Barcelona will look to ensure their recent blip does not develop into something more serious when they take on Malaga in the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final tie tonight.
Barca started the season in record-breaking fashion, winning 27 of their opening 31 matches in all competitions as they established a huge lead at the top of the Primera Division as well as making comfortable progress in the Champions League and Copa del Rey.
However, things have not gone so smoothly for the Catalan giants over the last week. Last Wednesday they were held 2-2 at home by Malaga in the first leg of their cup quarter-final, while on Saturday they suffered their first league defeat of the season after going down 3-2 at Real Sociedad — having led 2-0 after 25 minutes.
While those setbacks may not be a major cause for concern, Barca know they will need to do better on Thursday or risk seeing the defence of their Copa del Rey title came to an end at La Rosaleda.
Midfielder Andres Iniesta said: “We’re not thinking about being eliminated. We have to have the conviction that we’re going to win in Malaga and be in the next round.
“Of course they could get through, we’re playing against a team with great players, who are playing at home and have two away goals, but at no point have we thought about being knocked out.” If Barca do get through then it seems likely they will face arch rivals Real Madrid in the semi-finals.