Mascherano looking forward to rest after incurring suspension


Javier Mascherano is looking forward to a rest after a yellow card in Barcelona's 4-0 win over Eibar in La Liga on Sunday means he will be suspended for their next match.

Mascherano will incur a ban after he received his fifth top-flight booking of the season for his challenge on Sergi Enrich with seven minutes remaining at Ipurua, ruling him out of contention for next weekend's meeting with Getafe.

However, the Argentina midfielder admitted it will be nice to be rested ahead of the Champions League last-16 second-leg encounter with Arsenal the following Wednesday, but denied it was intentional.

"It was two against one and I wanted to stop the counter-attack. The card was not sought out, because nobody told me to look for it, but it's also good to rest," Mascherano told Movistar +.

Barca's 11th successive Liga victory piled the pressure on Atletico Madrid, who face Valencia on Sunday evening, and Mascherano hopes they can continue their run of form to claim the title for a second consecutive season.

"Our motivation is to continue to lead the table. We have to continue in this way. There are 10 matches left and we try not to make mistakes that our rivals can take advantage of," he added.

"Now all the teams we face are playing things, and so are we. In football, performances do not ensure you will win.

"The line between winning and losing is very thing, but we try to keep playing this way because it brings you closer to the possibility of winning [the title]."

Gerard Pique praised Luis Enrique's role in guiding Barca to such heights and hopes to wrap up the championship as soon as possible.

"We are doing everything very well thanks in part thanks to the coach and his decisions," the Spain international said.

"There are still games to go and we have not won La Liga. We try to win every game to win the title as soon as possible."