Alaves vs Barcelona: Valverde Speaks About Catalonians' Closeness To La Liga Title
Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona

Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde has spoken about the fact that Barcelona are so close to mathematically securing the La Liga title after defeating Alaves 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Concise News reports that second-half goals from Carles Alena and Luis Suarez came after a disappointing opening period, but what matters to the trainer is the fact that the Blaugrana have three more points to their name.

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“They’re not three definitive points, but they’re so important,” Valverde tells reporters after the game.

“It’s all very clear, we’re one win away.

“We’ll see what happens with Atletico.”

Barcelona can be crowned La Liga champions if Atletico Madrid loses against Valencia at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t matter when we win it, so long as we do win it because winning a league title is very difficult,” the former Athletic Bilbao coach says.

“What will be will be.

“If you asked me this when we started in July, any coach would’ve taken this situation.

“What I love is that you’re asking me this question, it’s the best that could’ve happened.

“Atletico will compete until the end because it’s in their DNA.”

Valverde’s squad rotation may have led to a flat first 45 minutes, where the visitors created very few clear-cut chances.

“In the end, they defended well,” the coach says.

“They looked to surprise us when we lost the ball.

“We had two chances at the start and then it was a question of patience.

“We talked at half time, above all about trying to be more convincing in the final third because we were getting into very good shooting positions.

“We were dominating, but we needed to create more chances.

“We needed a bit of magic to shift the game in our favour.”

Alena was one of those drafted into the starting line-up by Valverde and the midfielder repaid his coach’s faith with the opening goal.

“Alena is a player with very good finishing and shooting,” Valverde says.

“Last year he was the top scorer for Barcelona B playing in the second division.

“He had many chances to shoot and he has to try it.

“He arrives well in attacking positions, he dictates the play, he turns and he finds situations where we can outnumber them.

“I’m very happy for him.”

Finally, he explains why Lionel Messi came on, even with the team two goals up at that point.

“The idea was that he’d play because the result wasn’t clear when it was goalless at half time,” he says.

“The suggestion that it was about the Golden Shoe… well, we focus on winning.

“It was time for him to get some rest today and to come out in the second half.

“It’s good for players to stay involved and active.

“You can’t put them away in a case and then just bring them out for one match.”