Ernesto Valverde has admitted that Barcelona struggled to maintain their quality in the second half of their clash against Celta Vigo, insisting his players became 'more tired' as the game progressed.
The Blaugrana defeated Miguel Cardoso's men 2-0 at the Camp Nou, courtesy of first half goals by Ousmane Dembélé and Lionel Messi. The La Liga defending champions were the dominant side for most of the first half, with Celta simply trying to manage their strength in attack. However, the tables seemed to turn after the half-time interval.
Barça's dominance began to waver and their visitors created some half chances with a look into getting back in the game. Yet the home side stood firm in defence, sealing a vital three points and ensuring that they head into the winter break on top of the table.
But the win didn't stop Valverde from airing his concerns about their performance, as he noted the difference in his side's first and second half displays.
"We broke their defensive line well in the first half," he said, according to Marca.
"They wanted to reduce the space inside, but the room was behind their defence and that's where the first goal came from.
"In the second half we were more tired, we didn't have the ball as much and we wanted to play very fast."
A few weeks separate Valverde's men and their next league match against Getafe and if the Spaniard has it his way, nothing will change about his ambitions for Barcelona over the break.
"I'd like to think of something witty to look good," he joked.
"But the coaches, if we win, we're calm. If we win, I'm doing well, so I'd like people to be happy with us winning."