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Apr 15, 2013

Roura: Title race not over yet

Jordi Roura says Barcelona have not won anything yet after his side moved another step closer to sealing this season's La Liga title with a comfortable 3-0 win at Real Zaragoza on Sunday evening.

• Roura praises Barca squad
• Blog: The next La Masia generation

A much-changed Barca side had little trouble against freefalling Zaragoza, and took the win thanks to a well-taken strike by Thiago Alcantara and two other excellent efforts from Cristian Tello.

The Catalan club are now 13 points clear of nearest challengers Real Madrid, meaning they need just three wins from their remaining seven games to secure the title. Tito Vilanova's assistant, however, is not getting ahead of himself just yet.

"We want to win La Liga as soon as possible, but the race is not over yet," Roura said. "There are a lot of points still in play. We cannot assume that this is a done deal."

Barca took control of the game early on when Thiago struck after a quick-fire one-two with Alexis Sanchez, and were comfortable throughout.

Roura claims the win was not as easy as it looked, though, as relegation-threatened Zaragoza had fought hard.

"Every team has a lot on the line at this point in the season," he said. "That is why we are very pleased with today's win. We were a complete team today in all aspects of the game, and the score reflects that."

Vilanova had made seven changes to the XI which struggled past Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League in midweek. Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Jordi Alba were among those left at home, with youngsters including Sergi Roberto, Martin Montoya and Marca Bartra, as well as goalscorers Thiago and Tello, all coming in.

It was not a case of pre-planned squad-rotation, but of fielding the team most likely to win the game, according to Roura.

"We kept nobody back today, we put out the players who were best for this game," he said. "It would have been different if we had a game coming up in three days, but we just played those who were in the best physical condition to play."

Tello, whose two goals showed his outstanding pace and finishing ability, believes those young players who had come in had taken their opportunity well.

"We knew that this was going to be a difficult match, but we were very focused," he said. "I am pleased that I scored two goals, but even more so that the team won. Even though this was not our usual starting line-up, the team played the same style of football. It shows that we are all here to contribute."

Central-defender Bartra, who looks set to feature in the upcoming Champions League semi-final first leg at Bayern Munich, with Javier Mascherano and Carles Puyol injured and Adriano Correia suspended, was especially happy to have kept a clean sheet.

"We did not give Zaragoza a chance, we were very focused throughout the game," he said. "I am very comfortable playing alongside Adriano. We were very focused and the most important thing is that we did not concede any goals."

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