Valverde: Barca were lucky at times

Lionel Messi, Barcelona

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde admits the Blaugrana were fortunate to claim all three points against Deportivo Alaves in their La Liga clash on Sunday.

The visitors took the lead in the 23rd minute when John Guidetti found the back of the net at Camp Nou, but Luis Suarez levelled matters in the 72nd minute, before a winning strike from Lionel Messi.

When asked if Barca were lucky at times during the game, Valverde told the press: "Without a doubt. We're in a tough phase of the season, with a lot of games close together, midweek, weekend, and that leads to lots of wear and tear.

"We just played a really tense game on Thursday [against Espanyol] and are straight back at it tonight. If you get the first goal and are in front, it's easier but if not … I have the feeling that we have dodged a bullet."

The victory over Alaves was Barca's third in a row across all competitions. They remain in control of La Liga, with an 11-point lead at the top of the standings, and will next host Valencia in the Copa del Rey semi-finals on Thursday.