Barcelona is now just inches away to defend their La Liga title after they cruised past an easy 2-0 win over Alaves on Tuesday and in doing so, the Blaugrana extended their unbeaten streak to 21 matches in all competitions. The last time when they lost a match in La Liga was against Real Betis 4-3 at home.
A win against Levante on the Saturday clash will guarantee Barcelona their 26th Spanish League title and with Levante are already facing a relegation threat, the clash becomes a bit easier for the league leaders.
Real Madrid are no longer title contenders after the Catalans extended their lead to 16 points. There might be chance that Barcelona can claim the La Liga title early if Atletico Madrid lose against fifth-place Valencia at home on Wednesday.
Midfielder Carles Alena and striker Luis Suarez scored goals in a span of six minutes after halftime to seal the deal for the Catalan giants. However, Messi was absent from the playing XI and started from the bench. But the decision can prove to be reliable for Valverde as it was a good tactical decision by the Barcelona’s coach as he needs the Argentine fully fit for the clash against Liverpool in the semifinals of Champions League.
Apart from Messi, Valverde rested other regular starters on Tuesday which includes midfielder Arthur, central defender Clement Lenglet and left-back Jordi Alba.
Barcelona were coming off difficult victories against Manchester United in the Champions League and Real Sociedad in the Spanish league, with Messi playing from the start in both matches. Barcelona will travel to face Liverpool in the first leg of the semifinals of the Champions League next week.
Barcelona are also considering extending Arturo Vidal’s contract after an impressive season with the Catalan giants. The Chilean joined Barca on a one-year contract from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. In search for Champions League glory, Vidal also might sign the contract given Barca have already reached the semifinals of the mega tournament.