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Valverde: 'People say we are champions already - we're not'

:Headline: Valverde: 'People say we are champions already - we're not':
Barcelona are nine points clear with five games to go.
PA | 29d

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde warned his side still have work to do to defend their LaLiga title despite boasting a nine-point lead with five games to go.

Barca ground out a hard-fought 2-1 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday night, turning to the unlikely scoring duo of Clement Lenglet and Jordi Alba to see off their battling visitors.

The three points move treble-chasing Barca another significant step closer to the crown as they responded to Atletico Madrid's 1-0 win at Eibar earlier in the day.

"Today was always going to be a very important game and we have nine points left until we're champions, but it's very difficult to win," Valverde said in comments reported by Marca.

"I know that people say we're already champions, but we're not.

"We have to go game by game to win until the end. This is not over, not until we get to the last game is everything done. It will always be difficult."

Barca were a long way from their best against Sociedad, with Valverde admitting they struggled to find their rhythm after victory over Manchester United in the Champions League in midweek.

"When there is a game like the one against Manchester United, which is the centre of attention, you then have to get back to remotivating the team for another game which is fundamental," he said.

"The games after Champions League matches are difficult for us. The game was uncomfortable, as they played well and tried to bring the play out from the back. We could not bring it out as we wanted to.

"We lacked a spark and freshness to be able to settle the game."



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RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416
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CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416
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