Ernesto Valverde was more than happy with the win that rounded off the fixtures in Group D in this season’s Champions League. A goal from Paco Alcácer and an own goal from former blaugrana Jérémy Mathieu handed his team a win with their place in the last 16 already secure. Ahead of next Monday’s draw, the Barça boss 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.”

One draw for a knock out competition had already taken place before the game against Sporting, that for the Copa del Rey. “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,” said the coach after they were paired with the Galicians for the last 16 of the domestic Cup.

Valverde made several changes to the side for the visit of Sporting, including leaving Leo Messi on the bench: “Today there was nothing at stake. We know the league is important and we took that into account.” In the second half, Sergio Busquets found himself playing at centre half: “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 than it’s an option for us,” concluded the coach. 

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