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Barca attack picking up steam

Barcelona 2 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
May 3, 2009

Raul admits pain of Barcelona humiliation

Real Madrid captain Raul was left with feelings of pain and helplessness as his side were thrashed by rampant Barcelona.

Madrid`s hopes of winning a third successive Primera Division title are now all but gone after they were crushed 6-2 by Barca - the first time in almost 60 years that the Whites have conceded six goals in a match at home.

"We`ve felt powerless. It`s a defeat that hurts a lot," said Raul.

"We fought until the end, but we`ve come up against a better team and you have to congratulate them.

"To suffer such a defeat as this at home, seeing how comfortable the other team is and how they are enjoying themselves, makes you feel helpless."

Madrid went into the match with hopes high after a remarkable run of form that had yielded 52 from a possible 54 points since losing to Barca at the Nou Camp in December.

That run had helped reduce the gap between the two sides from 12 points to four prior to kick-off at the Bernabeu, and the possibility of Madrid making further in-roads looked on when they took a 14-minute lead through Gonzalo Higuain.

Unfortunately for Madrid that goal only served to spark Barca into action, and within six minutes the visitors were 2-1 ahead following strikes by Thierry Henry and captain Carles Puyol.

Lionel Messi then added a third before the break after Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra was caught in possession and, although the hosts pulled a goal back through Sergio Ramos in the 56th minute, Barca had the game wrapped up well before the end following further efforts from Henry, Messi and Gerard Pique.

The victory means treble-chasing Barca are now seven points clear of Madrid with four games remaining and could even be crowned champions next weekend if they beat Villarreal at the Nou Camp and Madrid lose away to Valencia.

"They depend on themselves now," said Raul. "They have the league in their hands, but we are going to try and finish as well as possible. There are four games left and we need to win them. Then we will see what happens.

"This defeat is painful for us and for our supporters, but football is like that."

Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who saved his side from an even heavier beating with a string of fine saves in the first half, added on his club`s website: "It hurts a lot to lose how we did, but it would have hurt more to lose 1-0 in the last minute.

"Barca are a great team, that`s all you can say. You have to congratulate them and accept the defeat."

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