Rakitic: Barca unity will deliver title

Barcelona's unity will help them overcome their difficult spell and retain the Liga title, says Ivan Rakitic.

Ivan Rakitic remains confident Barcelona can lift the Liga title this season despite seeing their eight-point lead wiped out in recent weeks.

Sunday's 2-1 home defeat to Valencia – which saw Lionel Messi score his 500th senior goal – means Barca are now only leading the way thanks to their superior head-to-head record against Atletico Madrid, while Real Madrid are only a point behind in third.

It was another frustrating day for Luis Enrique's side as they slipped to a third successive top-flight defeat – the first time that has happened since 2003.

Rakitic – who diverted the opening Valencia goal past Claudio Bravo – is not worried, though, and expects Barca to turn their flailing fortunes around.

"We have to get together and win all the games that remain," said the Croatia international.

"The luck was in Valencia's favour, but the desire was ours. It was just that the ball didn't want to go in.

"We're sad for what's happened, but we're experienced and we must be together. Together, we'll win.

"We don't have any doubts about ourselves, but the dynamic isn't good and we have to change it.

"We had a clear chance at the end with [Gerard] Pique's, but it only underlined the bad luck that accompanied us in the game."