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Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde pleased to beat Valencia

16 Abril 2018

Luis Suarez opened the scoring in the 15th minute, and Samuel Umtiti made it 2-0 in the 51st.

Next weekend they face Sevilla in the Copa del Rey final, too, as they chase a domestic double and Valverde called on the club's supporters to focus on the positives.

Neto then produced an acrobatic save to deny Andres Iniesta's acrobatic volley, while Messi fired just wide.

It was also perhaps no surprise that Coutinho, ineligible for Champions League duty in midweek, was one of the brightest performers with two assists. "It's the players who play", he said. The way he thrives when Valencia suddenly had to chase things suggests he should stay at Barcelona and operate as a "closer" coming off the bench to give the Blaugrana control and poise in those key late minutes.

Valencia finally got on the board after Ousmane Dembele slid in from behind on Jose Luis Gaya in the Valencia box. I am happy first of all with the three points.

Barca, who are now six results from the first unbeaten 38-game La Liga season, only need seven more points to seal the Spanish title.

Valencia started the game well and threatened Barcelona goal twice in the first five minutes. "It was close but after the two goals it was surprising".

The German was the busier goalkeeper, but Barcelona were the more clinical team, with both goals supplied by Coutinho.

"But it was a fundamental win in many senses".

It's arguably Coutinho's best performance for Barcelona since arriving in January from Liverpool. "The public can be angry about the Champions League, like us, but this is a recognition of the great season we are having in the league, which now seems to have been forgotten".

It wasn't pretty, but Ernesto Valverde will be pleased with the response of his players after their disappointing exit from the Champions League earlier this week. And we've come away with three points.

What are your thoughts on setting a new unbeaten Liga record?

It's not quite Leicester City winning the Premier League, but Burnley's incredible run toward the UEFA Europa League is simply amazing.

Valencia will aim to bounce back against Getafe at the Mestalla on Wednesday and then head to Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde pleased to beat Valencia