Ernesto Valverde reveals Barcelona relief after ending Anoeta 'curse'

Ernesto Valverde reveals Barcelona relief after ending Anoeta 'curse'
From ESPN - January 14, 2018

Ernesto Valverde urged Barcelona to keep their feet on the ground after they came from behind to beat Real Sociedad 4-2 on Sunday, extending their unbeaten streak in all competitions to 29.

Willian Jose and Juanmi had given La Real a two-goal lead, but a brace from Luis Suarez and goals from Paulinho and Lionel Messi helped Barca end an 11-year wait for a league win at Anoeta.

The three points restored their nine-point lead over Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga, with Valencia and Real Madrid 11 and 19 points back, respectively.

However, with Barca's win at La Real marking the halfway point in the campaign, Valverde believes it's still too early to say the title race is run.

"There's distance [between Barca and the rest]," Valverde said in his postgame news conference. "We have only dropped six points in the first half of the season -- the numbers are good.

"It's good to have that gap but we still have the second half of the season to go. We never rule any of our rivals out. If I was in their place, I would not give up on La Liga and I do not think they will.

"Maybe Madrid see other clubs closer to them, but I do not think anyone will give up on catching us despite the difference. I would not."

Barca -- who are now the only unbeaten side in Europe's top five leagues after Manchester City lost to Liverpool -- looked set to see their wait for a first league win at Anoeta since 2007 go on as they fell 2-0 behind in San Sebastian.


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