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Ernesto Valverde 'delighted' as Barca match club-record unbeaten run

Barcelona's 2-0 win at Eibar on Saturday saw them extend their unbeaten streak in La Liga to 31 games, matching the club record set by Pep Guardiola's side in 2010-11.

Since taking charge last summer, Ernesto Valverde has never been on the losing side in the league, with Barca yet to taste defeat in 24 matches this season and 10 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid.

You have to go back to April 2017 to find Barca's last loss in the Spanish top flight, a 2-0 reverse at Malaga which ultimately cost them the title.

Under Luis Enrique, they went on to end the season with seven straight wins after that loss at La Rosaleda, which can be added to the 24 games unbeaten under Valverde.

"We're delighted with how things are going and that says we must be doing something right," Valverde told a news conference when alerted to the record. "But we have to keep going."

Late goals were needed to preserve that record against Alaves and Espanyol in the last month and Eibar may feel they deserved more from Saturday's game in the Basque Country.

Luis Suarez opened the scoring after 15 minutes at Ipurua, with the home side coming close to an immediate equaliser when Fabian Orellana hit the crossbar.

It was only when Orellana was later sent off for a second yellow card that Barcelona were able to kill off the game, Jordi Alba wrapping up the win in the 88th minute.

"We had to suffer a lot, Eibar are in good form and it was a really difficult game," Valverde added.

"They pressed us a lot. They were very good. In the second half we struggled, we weren't able to get close to their area, but it was easier when they went down to 10 men.

"I don't have any problem admitting that during some phases of the game Eibar were on top, we couldn't overcome their pressing.

"But that's football. You have to dominate and you also have to take advantage of your chances. For us, it was really important to win today after consecutive draws in La Liga."

Barca's attention now turns to Chelsea on Tuesday in the Champions League round of 16, with Sergio Busquets saying nothing is being taken for granted despite the excellent results so far under Valverde.

"We go to Stamford Bridge with confidence, in terms of results the season has been very good," the midfielder said.

"But what's happened so far doesn't mean anything, we know that it's going to be really tough, that we have to be intelligent and that the tie lasts 180 minutes."

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.


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