Football

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is feeling good about his side's title chances after an emphatic return to form.

Another big win has Luis Enrique feeling good about Barcelona's title chances

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Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is feeling optimistic about his team's chances of winning the Primera Division title after watching them thrash Sporting Gijon 6-0 at the Nou Camp.

Luis Suarez scored four goals in the emphatic win, which came just four days after Barca beat Deportivo La Coruna 8-0 to end a winless run of four games that had put their title bid in jeopardy.

Although Barca only lead nearest challengers Atletico Madrid due to their superior head-to-head record and are one point above Real Madrid, Luis Enrique is confident his side will win their remaining three games to lift a second successive title.

"I am optimistic when I see how we train and how we play. We have turned around a very negative run, which nobody expected," he told a press conference.

"We are all humans, can make mistakes, but now we are in the best situation of the three at the top. We know if we win our three games we will be champions. I leave thinking about the positive side. Even more when you had an advantage, which is gone now. I don't think any of the three teams will slip up and I hope that happens because then we'll be champions."

Despite the scoreline, Luis Enrique admitted Barca did not enjoy an easy ride against Sporting, where he began his career.

He said: "We found the first half more difficult against a fresh opponent. The first half was dangerous for us, Sporting had two chances to put the game in their favour.

"In the second half we had more pace in our play which obliged the opposition to do more, and helped us make chances. At 3-0 the game was decided, and what happened next was not really important. It was vital we won and scoring many goals helps raise our confidence."

Neymar converted a late penalty (one of three spot kicks awarded to Barcelona) to score for the second game running after going five games without finding the net, and Luis Enrique praised the Brazilian's attitude.

"He showed character to take the penalty, to keep taking people on, to press opponents when we lose the ball. That is why he is a top player. Others end up participating less in the game. The fans were singing his name - which strengthens the player when he needs it."

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