Valverde knows he needs to deliver more trophies after signing new deal at Barca

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Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has admitted he will need to bring more silverware to the club in order to see out the new contract he signed on Friday.

Valverde has committed his future to the club for another season with an option for a further year, which would take him to four years in charge if he remains until the summer of 2021.

Barca go into Saturday’s game against Real Valladolid leading rivals Real Madrid by six points in LaLiga with 15 games to go, and Valverde knows his new deal does not reduce the pressure to keep delivering trophies.

“Intentions are always for the best but we know what football is like,” he said. “The results matter. Everything is uncertain. I understand that the club sees the results and trusts more will arrive with me.

“When we talk about the (contract length) it is because you’ve done well or you’re expected to do well. In any club it’s because things have gone well. In order to get to four years we are obliged to win, to collect titles.

“It’s the only way to be able to continue, I am clear about that.”

Victory over Valladolid would be a welcome way to celebrate Valverde’s new contract, particularly given Barca have drawn their last two league games to lose momentum at a time when the Champions League round of 16 clash with Lyon and the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Real Madrid are looming.

“We have started an important sequence of matches,” he said. “We haven’t forgotten we have drawn the last two games in the league, so now we have four important matches which can be the decisive part of our season.”

Valladolid travel to the Nou Camp just three points above the relegation zone. While few will give them much hope of taking anything from the game, coach Sergio Gonzalez has told his players to approach the game like they would any other.

“We follow the same methodology, the same planning with the same desire as in other games, even knowing the circumstances and their importance,” he said. “We want to play a good game even if we know its difficulty.”

Gonzalez joked that he would be happy to see Valverde make wholesale changes to his side given the run of fixtures Barca have on the horizon.

“I hope Ernesto Valverde decides to rotate, though we must prepare to face his best players,” he said.

“When I was a player I wanted to face the best, but as a coach I would prefer it if they rested (Lionel) Messi.”

He seems unlikely to get his wish given Barcelona will be keen to keep Madrid and everybody else at arm’s length.

“We have had the usual competitors,” Valverde said. “Real Madrid, Atletico, Valencia, Sevilla…We are not afraid to go first.”

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Atletico Madrid player ratings as they fail to show up against rivals Real Madrid

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Real Madrid kept up their impressive form under head coach Santiago Solari as goals from Casemiro, Sergio Ramos and substitute Gareth Bale earned a 3-1 derby win at 10-man Atletico, usurping their city rivals into second place in La Liga.

Brazil holding midfielder Casemiro delivered a 16th-minute scissor kick at a hostile Wanda Metropolitano, before France forward Antoine Griezmann soon burst past the offside trap – according to the video-assistant referee – and nutmegged hate figure Thibaut Courtois.

A stellar response then followed to earn a fifth-successive La Liga win and make it just the second time Atleti had conceded three or more at their new home. The electric Brazilian teenager Vinicius Junior was felled by Uruguay centre-back Jose Gimenez and Ramos did the business with a penalty kick on 43 minutes.

Into the second half, Wales superstar Gareth Bale came off the substitutes’ bench and fired in a punishingly accurate low finish to move onto 100 goals for Los Blancos on 74 minutes. Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey was then dismissed for a second yellow card to complete Atleti’s misery.

ATLETICO MADRID (4-4-2)

Jan Oblak – 5: Slovenia goalkeeper may feel he could have reacted quicker for Casemiro opener. Blameless for other goals.

Santiago Arias – 5: Colombia right-back will not want to revisit this display again. Left in shadows by Vinicius and Bale.

Jose Gimenez– 5: VAR could not save the Uruguayan when his lunge on Vinicius was punished. Later forced Courtois into an athletic stop.

Diego Godin – 6: Marginally better performance than his younger compatriot. Failed to keep a lid on Benzema. Not at his best.

Lucas Hernandez – 6: World Cup winner kept Vazquez deathly quiet, bar one poor shot. Flung in joint-team high three crosses.

Angel Correa – 7: Foul/tackle on Vinicius and wonderful pass teed up Griezmann for fine leveller. The Argentina winger was Atleti’s best attacker.

Thomas Partey – 4: Ghanaian lost his head in the final throes, after losing the midfield battle. A bad display in a great season.

Saul Niguez – 5: Spain midfielder needed to use his physicality and technique to killer effect. But failed to influence proceedings.

Thomas Lemar – 5: Had 100-per-cent pass accuracy, but still managed to do absolutely nothing with the ball. Poor.

Alvaro Morata – 6: Curious display on home bow. Denied deft chip by offside flag and booked for a dive. Lacked conviction.

Antoine Griezmann – 6: Searing pace and cheeky finish earned an eighth derby goal in 28 matches. But did little else and ended game on wing.

SUBSTITUTES

Vitolo – 5: Continues to be an expensive mistake for Los Rojiblancos.

Rodrigo – 5: Was meant to shore up Atleti, but they conceded another goal with him on pitch.

Nikola Kalinic – 5: That’s now just one goal in his last seven run-outs.

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Real Madrid player ratings as Vinicius Junior and Casemiro turn on style against Atletico

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Real Madrid kept up their impressive form under head coach Santiago Solari as goals from Casemiro, Sergio Ramos and substitute Gareth Bale earned a 3-1 derby win at 10-man Atletico, usurping their city rivals into second place in La Liga.

Brazil holding midfielder Casemiro delivered a 16th-minute scissor kick at a hostile Wanda Metropolitano, before France forward Antoine Griezmann soon burst past the offside trap – according to the video-assistant referee – and nutmegged hate figure Thibaut Courtois.

A stellar response then followed to earn a fifth-successive La Liga win and make it just the second time Atleti had conceded three or more at their new home. The electric Brazilian teenager Vinicius Junior was felled by Uruguay centre-back Jose Gimenez and Ramos did the business with a penalty kick on 43 minutes.

Into the second half, Wales superstar Gareth Bale came off the substitutes’ bench and fired in a punishingly accurate low finish to move onto 100 goals for Los Blancos on 74 minutes. Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey was then dismissed for a second yellow card to complete Atleti’s misery.

REAL MADRID (4-3-3)

Thibaut Courtois – 6: Ex-Atleti goalkeeper kept his composure as stream of plastic rats flew onto pitch. Made one strong stop from Gimenez.

Dani Carvajal – 7: Helped ensure France left winger Lemar had another afternoon to forget in an Atleti shirt. Rattled early by ex-team-mate Morata.

Raphael Varane – 6: Couldn’t utilise his pace to snuff out Les Bleus colleague Griezmann when Atleti broke. Otherwise quiet.

Sergio Ramos – 7: Box-office stuff. Burned off by Griezmann for goal, then delivered a perfect penalty and pointed celebration.

Sergio Reguilon – 6: Another solid display from the youngster, as Marcelo watched on. Recovered from awful foul on him by Partey.

Luka Modric – 7: Kept things ticking over for Madrid, throwing cold water on the Wanda cauldron. Measured assist for Bale.

Casemiro – 8: Exemplary display by the Brazil anchor man. Scissor kick gave Real an early lead. Also led the way in tackles for his team.

Toni Kroos – 7: Mirrored performance of Modric in three-man midfield. Quality in possession shone through. Some player.

Lucas Vazquez – 5: Spooned a delightful cross from Vinicius high into the crowd. This wayward shot summed up poor performance.

Karim Benzema – 6: An artful turn on Godin in first half was worth price of attendance. First game without goal or assist in five.

Vinicius Junior – 7: Racking up the impressive displays for Real. Stood up Gimenez and drew penalty. A constant menace.

SUBSTITUTES

Gareth Bale – 7: Came off the bench and delivered a textbook Bale goal, low into the opposite corner. Then wasted chance to make it 101 Los Blancos strikes with a header.

Dani Ceballos – N/A: Little time for Spain midfielder to impress.

Mariano Diaz – N/A: Helped ex-Atleti and Real winger Solari run clock down.

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