Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has told reporters that his side’s 3-0 win over Leganes was ‘excessive’ and praised the Madrid based side.
With Barca beating Leganes thanks to goals from Luis Suarez (2) and Brazilian Paulinho, Valverde’s side moved clear at the top of the table and ten points ahead of bitter rivals Real Madrid, who sit in third place.
Leganes, who have been in good form this season pushed the Catalan side on Saturday afternoon and former Athletic Bilbao boss Valverde has praised them for their efforts.
“The result was misleading and excessive because Leganes made it difficult for us and had a great game, while there were times when we weren’t brilliant, ” he told reporters following the game.
“They’re very secure at the back, as shown by the fact that they’ve only conceded two goals in five games.
“Suarez? We need his goals, as well as those of Messi, Alcacer and others, such as Paulinho. We already know our forwards always relate well with our opponents’ goaland that sooner or later, the goals will come.
“Now people will calm down about Suarez. We’ll see what happens next. Ter Stegen? He’s having a great season. He’s been conveying great sobriety and serenity. The team? We’ve had some great games, like at Sevilla, against Juventus and Athletic…
“The big matches help you take steps forward, although we’re aware that we have things to improve on.”
Barcelona closest rivals Valencia kept up the pace, beating Espanyol 2-0 on Sunday afternoon.
In truth, it wasn’t Los Che’s best performance of the season as their Catalan hosts had the best chances of the first half.
Gerard Moreno and Sergi Darder both came close, hitting the post with their respective efforts.
However, despite their domination, the home side fell behind when French midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia scored a 25-yard cracker.
Santi Mina scored a late second as Valencia secured an eighth straight win, and moved to within four points of league leaders Barcelona.
One sour point for the visitors was the dismissal of Marcelino, who was sent to the stands and will now miss the game against Barca next weekend at the Mestalla.
Second-placed Valencia, who last won La Liga in 2004, host the leaders next Sunday (19:45 GMT).