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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Barcelona must not let up in bid to complete unbeaten Primera Liga season urges coach Valverde

The Catalan side are six games away from completing the first ever unbeaten season in Spain's top flight

Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti, centre, celebrates with teammates after scoring during Saturday's win over Valencia. Manu Fernandez / AP Photo
Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti, centre, celebrates with teammates after scoring during Saturday's win over Valencia. Manu Fernandez / AP Photo

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde wants his team to keep their run going after they set a record of 39 consecutive games unbeaten in the Primera Liga with a 2-1 victory against Valencia on Saturday.

Philippe Coutinho set up goals for Luis Suarez and Samuel Umtiti as the league leaders reached the milestone.

Barcelona have now beaten the run achieved by Real Sociedad back in the 1978-79 and 1979-80 seasons.

Dani Parejo's late penalty made for a nervy finish at the Nou Camp but Valverde's side bounced back from their surprise Champions League exit at Roma in midweek to strengthen their grip on the title .

"This was a red-letter day for us. It was essential to take this major step forward. To win it we needed heart out there on the pitch and to take the initiative with the ball," Valverde said on the club's official website.

"These are three golden points, and now we only need seven to clinch the Liga title. We were able to regroup this week. And now we have the chance to win the Copa del Rey, and that's another trophy that means a lot to us.

"The unbeaten record is nice but the more important thing is that we have carried on winning."

Valverde admitted the win, against a Valencia side who had won their last five league matches, was needed to help ease the disappointment of what happened in Rome - where Barcelona lost 3-0 and went out of the Uefa Champions League on away goals after winning the first leg of their semi-final tie 4-1 at home.

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"It was three important points really, for a lot of reasons," said Valverde. "First of all, because of the week we've had. The atmosphere around the club this week has been a bit gloomy and we needed to put the brakes on that.

"It was more important that we picked ourselves up after a difficult week and the players have showed great attitude today and stepped up.

"We have to look forward now. Obviously we are coming off the back of going out of a competition but we've still got a lot of things to win."

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