Football

Jordi Alba: Barcelona will react to Real Madrid defeat

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Barcelona full-back Jordi Alba insists the Copa del Rey defeat to Real Madrid will make the Catalan giants stronger moving forward.

Alba scored a late consolation goal in Tuesday night's 3-1 semi-final, second-leg loss and the Spanish international believes his side will respond with improved performances in their upcoming fixtures, particularly the Champions League tie with AC Milan, where Barcelona have to overturn a two-goal deficit to reach the quarter-finals.

Alba told reporters after last night's game: "We fought against Madrid but it was not meant to be. This defeat will makes us stronger ahead of the Champions League, though."

Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and one from Raphael Varane inflicted a 4-2 aggregate defeat on Barcelona after an initial 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu, and ruined their chances of completing a famous treble. Alba added the team's focus was now on the AC Milan fixture in a fortnight.

"We've lost two crucial matches but we still have the return leg against Milan and I'm sure we will do better," he said. "If we score early, we will have a great chance to make it through to the next round. The team has shown that it can win any tie."

Before the Champions League match, Barcelona face another Clasico tie, traveling to the Spanish capital in La Liga this Saturday. Lionel Messi and co. currently sit top of the table, 12 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid and 16 clear of Jose Mourinho's side in third.

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