Ernesto Valverde
BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 02: Ernesto Valverde, Manager of Barcelona looks on prior to the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Villarreal CF at Camp Nou on December 2, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde has warned against underrating the Madrid teams in this season’s La Liga title challenge despite this weekend’s result.

Valverde whose future with Barcelona has been a subject of soccer pundits recently issued some words of caution after his side defeated Getafe 2-1 while Real Madrid lost to Real Sociedad 2-0 at home and Athletico Madrid forced to a 1-1 draw with Sevilla.

“It has been a hard match,” Valverde told reporters via Goal.

“We knew it would be as well.

“We withstood the challenge and picked up more points than those behind us.

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“For us, it was crucial to be focused. Getafe is a strong rival and pressured us a lot. We have to recognize that they had chances too.”

Valverde praised Getafe’s quality and feels the title race is still open.

“Getafe is an uncomfortable rival for Barca and for anyone,” he said. “They are experts in winning second balls. They are a hard and difficult team, as the table reflects.

“I don’t think too much on the rest of the results. I think about what we have in front of us and never rule out the teams in Madrid or the rest.”