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Valverde plays down Barcelona’s lead over Real Madrid ahead of El Clasico

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The coach points out Atleti are only six points behind

Ernesto Valverde
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Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde was his usual calm and composed self after Sunday’s 4-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna.

The victory means Barca are six points clear at the top of the table, with Atletico Madrid now in second, two points above Valencia in third.

Real Madrid are a further 11 points back, having played a game less, but Valverde says a win at the Bernabeu next weekend will not mean the end for los Blancos’ title hopes.

“We're going into it happy. We have a week to prepare for the game and the best way to approach the Madrid match was to put in the kind of performance we had today, secure three points and boost confidence and morale,” he said.

“We are in good shape but we know that we are in for a complicated game against a huge rival. We'll prepare for it well because we are determined to put in a good performance.

“People also mention the advantage we have over Real Madrid but they forget that Atlético are only six points behind us.

“We have it pretty clear in our minds that this is a long competition. No team sews up the league in the first round of games.”

Source | AS

Barca head to the Bernabeu still unbeaten and on the back of a convincing win against Deportivo.

However, there was one sour note from Sunday’s game, with Paco Alcacer forced off due to injury and set to miss the next three weeks.