Mascherano: La Liga out of Barcelona's hands

The versatile midfielder has acknowledged that the Catalans now face a tough task to retain their league title
Javier Mascherano has admitted that Barcelona no longer have their fate in their own hands in the Primera Division title race following Saturday's 1-0 shock defeat against Granada but feels the Catalans were unfortunate to lose.

The Catalans have dropped to third place in the league table behind Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid following this weekend's results and the Argentine has all but conceded defeat.

"The league is no longer in our hands," he was quoted as saying on the club's official website.

"I don’t think the defeat in the Champions League affected us, we created a lot of chances, but the ball didn’t want to go in.

"But we can’t make excuses. I think we created chances to score, but football can be like this."

The former Liverpool man then went on to stress that Barcelona must bounce back from Saturday's defeat in Wednesday's Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid.

"We have to pick ourselves up and look forward, because on Wednesday we have a final and we cannot fail."