Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has stressed his team’s objective is to be in first place at the end of the season despite leapfrogging Real Madrid on the La Liga table yesterday,

Since their 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad, Barcelona has been in scintillating form, winning 15 out of 16 matches in all competitions, while outscoring opponents 56-13. They have advanced to the Copa del Rey final and are on the brink of reaching the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals after securing a 2-1 victory at Manchester City in late February.

The rejuvenated efforts of Lionel Messi and the steady contributions of Luis Suarez have propelled the Catalan club past their El Clasico rivals on the La Liga table.

However, Enrique is aware being first place in March will mean nothing if La Blaugrana aren’t crowned champions of Spain at the end of the season.

“The objective is to be top when the competition is over,” the Barcelona manager said. “I’ve always said that the big teams will get beaten and this will continue to happen, we all need to be on our toes. we have won the right to be where we are now.”

It’s been secured with effort. To get to the Copa del Rey final, one has to see off complicated rivals on the way. We want to be in everything, the league and Champions League.”

Enrique is keenly aware of the contributions of Luis Suarez has provided to his squad, and commented on the partnership the Uruguayan has clearly formed with Messi in Barcelona’s attack.

“[Suarez] is connecting well with Messi, and with the passing time Luis is offering us more,” Enrique added. “They have great chemistry and it’s great for the rest of the team.”

The media and fans can’t help but look past Barcelona’s next two matches – against Eibar and Manchester City – towards the showdown with Real Madrid on March 22nd at the Camp Nou. But Enrique is remaining focused on his team’s next match and not his El Clasico rivals – yet.

“I don’t normally talk about our rivals,” Enrique concluded. “Each game is complicated and the need to win each match is not a stimulus but a weight. Despite the necessity, the way to manage it is key. I hope to be able to meet the challenge ahead towards the end of the season.”