By 90Min
December 06, 2017

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has admitted his side won't be able to get away with the mistakes they made in the Champions League group stage after his side progressed to the Round of 16.

Although top spot in Group D was already guaranteed before a ball had even been kicked on Tuesday night, Barcelona maintained their unbeaten European run by convincingly brushing aside Sporting CP 2-0 at the Camp Nou.

Speaking to the club website, Valverde said: "Whoever we get at this stage of the competition it will be tough. Making mistakes in the group stage you can get away with but in the knock out stages you pay for them."

Star player Lionel Messi was rested and came off the bench on the hour mark - a signal of intent right after the Catalan club took the lead.

On benching Messi, Valverde said: "Today there was nothing at stake. We know the league is important and we took that into account."

Thomas Vermaelen made a rare start in place of Samuel Umtiti who was ruled out for two months with a hamstring injury in Saturday's disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Celta Vigo.

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The lack of defenders meant Sergio Busquets found himself playing at centre-back during the second half, a position he has filled in at before but isn't too accustomed with.

Valverde added: "He is player who can adapt to different positions and it’s not the first time he has played at centre back. Given we have two centre halves injured then it’s an option for us."

Barca  will play Celta again sooner than expected after they were drawn against them in the Copa del Ray Round of 16 - and Valverde will now know all about the threat they posses.

"Celta will be tough opponents, they are in form and they played well at Camp Nou last Saturday. It will be a difficult tie but we are hopeful of getting through."

The Round of 16 draw for the Champions League will be made on December 11.

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