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Valverde: "Madrid out of the running? Not a chance..."

Barcelona's coach said after today's 0-3 win over Madrid: "We're not even halfway through the league. This win means nothing, the decisive stage is yet to come".


Ernesto Valverde analyzed Barça's win at Bernabéu with beIN Sports in the Flash Zone after the match. The coach made it clear that this afternoon's victory and the 14-point advantage which his side now have over Real Madrid doesn't mean LaLiga's title race is over. "It means nothing, we're not even halfway through the campaign", he said.

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Denis DoyleGetty Images

LaLiga title race is still on, says Valverde

Post-match sensations: “We're very happy. We're beaten a great side at their ground. It's a Clásico, an important game and it means as much for us to beat Madrid at their stadium as it would for them to beat us at ours. But we are still in the first round of matches and there is a long way to go. I don't want to say anything because there are a lot a matches to play so nothing's decided”.

The game: “Their gameplan consisted of trying to stop us from playing our game. We had to resort to long balls. If we hadn't found a way of handling their first line of pressing, we wouldn't have seen the ball. Later on we were able to control possession of the ball. Little by little we started creating chances then they goals arrived. As teams, we are very similar and the goals chances the match”.

Busquets: “Rakitic is the one who takes the ball forward while Busquets has more of a defensive profile because he plays in the pivot position, but he gives us a lot of other things”.

Real Madrid: “We never gave Madrid up for dead. We had possession of the ball but we couldn't advance with it. They looked more dangerous when they had 11 players on the pitch than we they had 10”.

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Juan Carlos HidalgoEFE

Valverde analyzes Real Madrid's tactics

The second half was the key: "They played a high line which is what we expected them to do. They pressed us and forced us into playing the ball quickly. In a way, we couldn't play our usual game. We struggled to ride out the pressure. We had our chances too but the game was wide open and with no team dominating. In the second half we managed to take control of the game and that helped on our way to win the match".

Does this mean LaLiga is over? "Of course not. We're not even through the first round of games. We have an advantage over our rivals but we are not thinking about that. We have to make sure we win our games and ensure the team has the right sensations".

Were you surprised to see Kovacic in Madrid's starting line-up? "No. I don't have the data which Real Madrid's coach has to select his team. He's a great player and always has rival teams on their toes. We didn't know whether he was going to man-mark Messi or whether he was chosen to strengthen the midfield and add pressure. We took to the field having studied all of the different situations which could arise".

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Ter Stegen, the first line of defence and attack

Ter Stegen, superb: "Marc is fundamental  for us for the saves he makes and because he is the player who starts our moves. Sometimes we are a little nervous when we have the ball close to him but he's always very calm. They always had a player nearby threatening to rob the ball but Marc reads the game well".

Do you see this as a personal victory over Zidane? "No. I haven't won anything. This is a game which sometimes, is decided by a small detail. But for the kind of teams we are, everything is magnified when you lose".


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