x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Messi's brilliance not enough for Guardiola's Barca to win title

"Forget the league, we are not going to win," says coach after striker's 150th goal in a 2-0 victory over Sevilla.

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) scores against Sevilla's goalkeeper Andres Palop (R) during the Spanish League football match Sevilla vs FC Barcelona on March 17, 2012 at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Sevilla. AFP PHOTO / CRISTINA QUICLER
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Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) scores against Sevilla's goalkeeper Andres Palop (R) during the Spanish League football match Sevilla vs FC Barcelona on March 17, 2012 at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Sevilla. AFP PHOTO / CRISTINA QUICLER *** Local Caption *** 110590-01-08.jpg

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola watched Lionel Messi register his 150th league goal in a 2-0 victory over Sevilla, but admitted that even the little master cannot win La Liga this season.

"Forget the league, we are not going to win," said Guardiola, whose bitter rivals Real Madrid can restore their 10-point cushion against Malaga tonight.

"If this team has anything then it is that it competes, but there has been another side which has been better and achieved better results than us and there is no need to smooth over the fact."

Despite his black mood, Guardiola insisted that his team would keep going until the end. "Players at Barcelona go out to win. We have a very difficult tie in the next round of the Champions League [against AC Milan, who looked sharp in a 2-0 win over Parma yesterday] but we are not going to hold back in the league and rest players," he said.

A sublime chip from Messi brought up the Argentine's milestone for Barcelona, and his 14th in the last six games, after a Xavi Hernandez free-kick had put the champions ahead after 18 minutes.

Guardiola put out his strongest side as Barca continued their pursuit of Real with the only surprise the absence of Carles Puyol from the defence with Javier Mascherano chosen to play alongside Gerard Pique at centre half.

Adriano started at left-back in place of Eric Abidal who will be out of the game indefinitely as he awaits a liver transplant.

Earlier, Getafe put further distance between themselves and the drop zone as they bounced back from three straight defeats to beat second-from-bottom Sporting Gijon 2-0.

Rock-bottom Zaragoza were just minutes away from a much needed victory but Roversio equalised Helder Postiga's opener after 88 minutes to give Osasuna a 1-1 draw.

Elsewhere, an own-goal from Inigo Martinez gave Getafe a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad.