Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde insisted his side would continue “fighting until the end” after conceding ground to title rivals in a goalless draw at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
The champions, who are now unbeaten in 11 league games, missed the chance to go eight points above second-placed Real Madrid, who beat Atletico 3-1 in the capital derby on Saturday.
“We leave this matchday as we entered it, ahead,” Valverde told the post-match press conference. “If my maths is accurate then we’ll still be ahead even after the next matchday.”
“This league is a long process and we must keep fighting until the end,” he added.
Lionel Messi’s lob was the game’s best chance, however the hosts were the better team for large periods.
Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen had to pull off a string of excellent saves to deny the Basque side a famous win.
Athletic ended the game with 10 men after Oscar de Marcos was shown a second yellow card in injury time for handball.
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