Barcelona still have to sweat for La Liga title, warns Valverde

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Atletico Madrid have trimmed the gap at the top of the Spanish league to seven points and the Barca coach know there are battles ahead for his side

Ernesto Valverde warned Barcelona they will have to overcome plenty more dogged opponents like Getafe if they are to get their hands on the title in La Liga.

Sunday's goalless draw at Camp Nou made it back-to-back stalemates for the leaders, whose advantage over Atletico Madrid is now down to seven points.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and the rest of Barca's superstars failed to muster a shot on target during the first half and Valverde felt his players failed to adapt fully to the challenge presented by Pepe Bordalas' side.

"We still have to sweat for this league," he told a post-match news conference. "We are going to find many teams that are going to make our lives impossible.

"[Getafe] are an uncomfortable team and we lacked a bit of freshness to have a little more fluency. Between what they pressed and us not being fresh, it cost us.

"We lacked a bit of spark to do something else."

Arguably the most encouraging element of Barcelona's performance was a classy full-debut from Yerry Mina at centre-back, made all the more impressive by left-back Lucas Digne being played out of position alongside the Colombia international at the heart of defence.

"It is positive news that the two centre-backs, Yerry and Digne, have been quite good," Valverde said.

"It was a delicate moment for them and they fulfilled their roles."

Record signing Ousmane Dembele made his latest comeback from injury but the winger flattered to deceive in an error-strewn cameo from the bench.

"He thought he could help us but he has not been able to as many times as he would have liked," Valverde added.

"He has gone on to the field because he had to try things. It is a first step."

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