By 90Min
December 18, 2017

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has admitted the injury to Paco Alcacer during his side's 4-0 rout of Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday evening slightly muddled the sheen of the victory. 

A pair of braces for Luis Suarez and Paulinho, both of which came via deflections from the woodwork, were more than enough to see off the visitors, however in truth the difference on the scoreline could have been much greater. 

The three points pushed Barca's advantage in the title race to six, but had their five attempts that rattled the woodwork, three courtesy of Lionel Messi, the Argentine's spot kick or what appeared to be another ghost goal hit the back of the net, they could have opened up their two-games worth advantage over Atletico Madrid in even greater emphatic style. 

As it was, the score stayed at four, but it was not the perfect night for Valverde and his Barcelona outfit as Alcacer was substituted early in the first-half after suffering a leg problem. 

The resulting injury means the 24-year-old, who has found good form of late, will not be available for the upcoming Christmas Clasico next weekend. 

"It's a setback that we didn't expect. Overall the game turned out well but's a real shame about Paco", the Barcelona manager told Movistar, as quoted by Sky Sports.

"But we're going into [El Clasico] happy. We have a week to prepare for the game and the best way to approach the Madrid match was to put in the kind of performance we had today, secure three points and boost confidence and morale.

"We are in good shape but we know that we are in for a complicated game against a huge rival. We'll prepare for it well because we are determined to put in a good performance."

With Real Madrid not featuring in this round of La Liga fixtures due to their victory in the Club World Cup, Barca were able to extend their advantage over the reigning champions to 11 points. 

There have been many suggestions that the title's destination has already be forged this season after a bad start for Los Blancos, but Valverde rubbished claims that the league is already decided.

"People mention the advantage we have over Real Madrid but they forget that Atletico are only six points behind us", he said.

"We have it pretty clear in our minds that this is a long competition. No team sews up the league in the first round of games."

The 53-year-old also took note of the fact his side rattled the frame of the goal on five more occasions during their 4-0 hammering of Depor, taking their season's tally to 26. 

"If we deliberately tried to hit the post, we wouldn't get to that figure", Valverde added. 

"Fortunately, apart from hitting the post we're also scoring goals. That means we are regularly close to the goal and in position to score and that's good."

Barca will be hoping their can continue their great form in front of goal and stretch their unbeaten league record to 24 games when they visit the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium this Saturday to face Real Madrid. 

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