Barca rally round mis-firing Ibrahimovic

Last Updated: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 21:02

Madrid: Barcelona have played down Zlatan Ibrahimovic`s goal drought as they continue their drive towards the title against La Liga bogey team Getafe on Saturday (1900 GMT).

The Sweden striker hit the ground running after moving from Inter Milan in the close season, quickly notching 11 league goals.
Ibrahimovic, though, has only found the net once in their last nine matches in all competitions.

"He`s already scored a load of goals in the league so it`s no problem if he goes a few games without scoring," team mate Seydou Keita told reporters.

"If he doesn`t score there are others who will because we are a team so we aren`t worried."

Ibrahimovic has said he expects more from himself but coach Pep Guardiola and his squad have praised the towering frontman for his contribution and the way he brings others into the game.

Visitors Getafe have proved awkward opponents for Barca, drawing their last two visits to the Nou Camp, but arrive distracted by a King`s Cup semi-final.

La Liga`s seventh-placed side lost the first leg 2-0 at Sevilla on Wednesday and have promised to go all out for their third final appearance in four years, in next week`s return leg.

"It won`t be easy but we aren`t calling it quits," coach Michel told reporters. "We are at home and this should help us to try and turn it round."
Unbeaten Barca lead Real Madrid by five points, with Manuel Pellegrini`s side welcoming struggling Espanyol to the Bernabeu on Saturday (2100).

Real defend their 100 percent home record without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo unless a second appeal against the ban is successful.

Valencia are eight points adrift of Real in third spot and host Real Valladolid on Saturday (1700).

Two new coaches take the stage after sackings early in the week with Onesimo Sanchez stepping up at 17th-placed Valladolid and Juan Carlos Garrido replacing Ernesto Valverde at Villarreal (10th).

Onesimo has a tough task to fire Valladolid`s climb away from the relegation places at the Mestalla. His club have taken only two points from five games.

Garrido has his eyes fixed on a place in Europe next season and leads Villarreal to fifth-placed Real Mallorca on Sunday (1600).

Mallorca have won nine from nine at the Ono Estadi.

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 21:02

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