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Barcelona are now 14 points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid while Valencia are a further three points back following the end of their five-match winning run.

Valencia are among the sides to have troubled Barca this season, having coming within eight minutes of beating them in December before the sides drew 1-1.

The Spanish champions-elect will also be consoled by the thought that their bitter rivals Real Madrid are now languishing in fourth place in La Liga.

Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho returned to the Barcelona starting XI.

The Catalan club were always in control of the match and they took the lead inside 15 minutes through Luis Suarez. Soler played in Rodrigo Moreno but Ter Stegen made up for his mistake by pushing the shot onto the bar.

Barca's goalkeeper has been excellent this season and he was kept busy as Valencia attacked, saving again from Rodrigo two minutes before half time.

A minute later, Coutinho's corner was headed into the bottom-right corner by Umtiti, despite Neto's best efforts to keep the ball out.

"The value of these three points is great, they are three points of gold", Valverde said. A late goal from Daniel Parejo could not save Valencia as they went down fighting at the Camp Nou.

"The most important thing was the 1-0, knowing the mood wasn't good, and we saw how it finished". We're sorry for what happened.

Does that win secure the title?

"The sensation is that we have failed, that we have disappointed the supporters but we have to look forward and not lose sight of what we can still achieve this season".

"We have not lost much but the game the other day was important and you have the feeling that we have disappointed people".

Barca have reached the Copa del Rey final, where they face Sevilla next Saturday in Madrid, a game which could see the Catalans come closer to a domestic double.

"Even though I couldn't play in the Champions League, I still wanted us to win it".


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