'It’s been a long week for Barcelona' - Zubizarreta

The 52-year-old was pleased the Catalans could bounce back from last weekend's defeat with a 4-1 win, while insisting La Liga is still wide open

Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta is relieved that his side are back on track after their convincing 4-1 win over Almeria on Sunday after what he described as a "long week".

The Catalans lost 3-1 to Real Sociedad in their previous match, but goals from Alexis Sanchez, Lionel Messi, Carles Puyol and Xavi saw them return to winning ways this weekend.

The victory was especially crucial after league leaders Real Madrid could only draw 2-2 with fellow title contenders Atletico Madrid and Zubizarreta was especially pleased with how Barca began the Camp Nou clash.

"After losing to Real Sociedad, this past week has been long," the sporting director told AS. "The victory against Almeria is important because the points are important. It gives you peace of mind.

"When you do not play midweek it makes everything longer, especially if you lose. Everyone wanted to help and take responsibility.

"We are a team through the good and the bad. We saw this in the first 25 minutes [when we went 2-0 in front]. This was very good."

Zubizarreta is also relishing the opportunity to be crowned La Liga champions in a season that has seen a fierce battle between Barca, Real and Atletico for the top-spot.

"The league is open to all three of the teams," he added. "Now every opponent is difficult because everything is decisive. That's great for the league and I like the fact that our club are in that fight.

"There being three times fighting for the title is best for La Liga. One game could change everything and entitle Atletico to become a candidate again."