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Barcelona news: Alena wants to clinch title in front of Camp Nou fans

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Barcelona news: Alena wants to clinch title in front of Camp Nou fans

The Blaugrana could win La Liga as soon as Wednesday, but the midfielder would prefer to celebrate at the team’s home ground

Barcelona midfielder Carles Alena has admitted he’d rather clinch the title by winning Saturday at Camp Nou than through an Atletico Madrid defeat against Valencia on Wednesday. 

The Blaugrana closed in on a second straight title, and fourth in five seasons, with a 2-0 win at Alaves on Tuesday. 

The victory stretched Barca’s lead to 12 points over second-place Atletico, with the title now appearing to be a matter of when, not if. 

Barca could clinch the championship on Wednesday if Valencia defeat Atletico, but Alena, who opened the scoring on Tuesday, has confessed that he’d rather not win La Liga in that fashion. 

“We have to wait to see if Atletico win,” Alena told beIN SPORTS after Tuesday’s game. “If they do, we will try to win on Saturday before our fans. 

“I would like to win the league on Saturday at the Camp Nou, depend on us and be able to celebrate with our fans, but if we win it on Wednesday, it will be welcome.”

Should Valencia not defeat Atletico, then a Barcelona victory on Saturday against Levante would also be sufficient to win La Liga. 

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde was less concerned than Alena with how and when his team clinch La Liga. 

“I love this question because if they do it to me in August and I would say however and whenever,” Valverde said. 

“The truth is that I do not care where I become champion.”

Barca struggled to break Alaves down in the first half but after Alena’s 54th-minute opener, Luis Suarez’s penalty put the game to bed. 

“In the end they defended well, defended together,” Valverde added. “We had a double chance at the beginning but we did not take advantage and it was a matter of patience. With the 0-1 they have already had to open up.”

Valverde brought Lionel Messi on with a two-goal lead, but the manager denied the Argentine was put on to help him close in on another individual award. 

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“The idea was that he’d play because the result wasn’t clear when it was goalless at half-time,” he said. “The suggestion that it was about the Golden Shoe… well, we focus on winning.

“It was time for him to get some rest today and to come out in the second half. It’s good for players to stay involved and active.

“You can’t put them away in a case and then just bring them out for one match.”

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