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Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard believes his side’s 6-0 thrashing of Atletico Madrid on Sunday was the perfect confidence booster for the climax of the season.

With Real Madrid, Sevilla and Valencia all winning ahead of Barca’s trip to Vicente Calderon, the pressure was on, and Rijkaard’s team responded in emphatic style.

“This result gives us hope,” he said at a press conference after the victory. “We’ve shown we are capable of playing a good game against a team that normally do well against us.”

Barca trail Real Madrid because of the latter’s better head-to-head record, but Rijkaard feels his side can claim maximum points from their remaining games.

“I’m confident we can win the three games we have left,” he added. “As regards the rest we’ll have to wait and see.

“With three weeks remaining there is more than just one favourite.

“We all have to cope with the pressure because it’s not easy and any team is capable of springing a surprise.

“It is not easy to win all your matches with this pressure and the first team to fail will be discarded.”

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