Barca will still be top next week - Valverde calms form fears

By Sports Desk February 11, 2019

Ernesto Valverde does not believe Barcelona's current form is a cause for concern.

Barca had their LaLiga lead trimmed to five points by Real Madrid's derby win over Atletico Madrid this weekend – their subsequent goalless draw at Athletic Bilbao meaning the advantage stands at six points with 15 games remaining.

Including last week's 1-1 draw with Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final, Valverde's side are without a win in three matches across all competitions.

Speaking to reporters after the game at his old San Mames stomping ground, the Blaugrana head coach suggested a dose of perspective was required.

"Well we were first last week, we're first this week and, if I'm not mistaken, we'll be leaders next week as well," he said.

"That's the situation. There are weeks when you earn a lot of points and some when you don't.

"It's a long season and we'll wait until the end to make a judgement."

Barcelona host relegation-threatened Real Valladolid next weekend before travelling to Lyon in the last 16 of the Champions League.

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    "We can beat Barca but we know it will very tough," Milner told reporters. "I've been there a couple of times in the knockout stages with City and not got the right result, so hopefully it is third time lucky for me. 

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    "They are a team full of great individual talent and a great side too. The Camp Nou is a fantastic stadium and a fantastic place to play with a great atmosphere. It will be very tough and we will have to be at our best but tough for them too.

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    Both teams have set a relentless pace at the top of the table and Milner believes Liverpool must win all their remaining games – and reach a points haul of 97 – to become champions. 

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    "There are a lot of tough games coming up and it won't be easy. We are used to a game every three days and when the pressure is on towards the end of the season it maybe takes a bit more out of you.  

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