Barcelona centre-forward Luis Suarez said three points in their title chase were the most important result, speaking after he had scored twice more in his team's 4-0 La Liga win at home to Almeria on Wednesday.
La Liga leaders Barca stretched their advantage at the top of the table to seven points [ahead of Madrid's later game at Rayo Vallecano] with Lionel Messi and Marca Bartra also on the scoresheet.
Suarez's double moved him to 10 La Liga goals this season, and a total of 16 in all competitions since joining Barca for €80 million from Liverpool last summer.
The Uruguay international told local TV after the game that even though hosting struggling Almeria had seemed an easier game on paper, he and his team had been well aware they could not afford to relax.
"Goals are always important, but the most important thing today was to get the three points," Suarez said. "That was what we really wanted. In La Liga we cannot relax. We already know what can happen if we are not focused 100 percent. We are in control of our own destiny and must keep that mentality for the games left to play."
Barca should face a tougher test on Saturday afternoon at Sevilla, who are unbeaten at home since the Catalan side's last visit to the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan a full 14 months ago. They'll also face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarterfinals and top-four chasing Valencia in the coming weeks.
"Every game that comes will be difficult," Suarez said. "We are coming into a phase of the season where we have good chances on all fronts. We must go into games to show our personality, because we are Barcelona and always go out to be on top.
Asked if Barca are now clear favourites for the La Liga title, with Madrid having hit a rough patch recently [albeit also having beaten Granada 9-1 last weekend], Suarez was cautious with his words.
"The whole team is on the same path, we must show the image of the club as we go from game to game," he said. "But Real Madrid are Real Madrid and everyone knows the quality they have. They will fight until the end."