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Valverde relishes another clean sheet as Barcelona win again

Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi fired Barca to victory against Celta Vigo.

Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona have kept clean sheets in their last four LaLiga matches (Nick Potts/PA)
Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona have kept clean sheets in their last four LaLiga matches (Nick Potts/PA)

Ernesto Valverde claimed his mission had been accomplished following Barcelona’s 2-0 home win against Celta Vigo.

Barca moved three points clear at the top of the table thanks to first-half goals from Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi.

Valverde’s side began the game in second place after Atletico Madrid’s win earlier in the day but will finish the year back on the summit.

“I think it’s the best way to win,” Valverde said in his post-match interview, referring to his team’s fourth straight clean sheet in LaLiga.

“You don’t concede and you know with the strike force that we have – the statistics are there.

“It was the objective to end the year as leaders with the same advantage we had before this round of matches started, so we’re happy.”

Celta were more of a threat in the second half. Brais Mendez had Marc-Andre Ter Stegen scrambling across his goal with a driven shot that flew just wide at the start of the second half.

Mendez worked the Barcelona goalkeeper again before the end, but Valverde’s side won while not being at their best and head into the winter break with a three-point cushion.

“The game had two separate halves,” Valverde added. “They were quite different. I think in the second half they were better than us. We weren’t quite at our best and they had a few chances.”

Celta coach Miguel Cardoso claimed he was happy with his side’s display after the opening quarter.

“Without counting the first 20 minutes, we have shown the team we want to be in the future,” Cardoso said.

“At the beginning we searched for a goal very quickly and that cost us to concede.

“But the half-time talk was very positive because we went back to the initial plan and the second half was completely different.”

PA

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