'Leagues are won in matches like this' – Sergi Roberto hails Barcelona's battling spirit in Valencia win
Sergi Roberto believes Barcelona's victory over Valencia provides another example of their LaLiga title-winning pedigree after being made to work hard at Camp Nou.
Barca defeated 19th-place Valencia 1-0 at Camp Nou through Raphinha's 15th-minute header to move 10 points clear of Real Madrid, who travel to Real Betis later on Sunday.
The Catalan giants squandered a big chance to effectively kill off Valencia in the 55th minute when Ferran Torres failed to convert a penalty.
A red card issued to Ronald Araujo four minutes later for bringing down Hugo Duro as last man changed the complexion of the contest, but Valencia failed to hit back.
It was far from a vintage display from Barca, but Sergi Roberto is pleased with the manner in which they dug deep to claim a fifth straight league win in this fixture.
"We showed we know how to suffer," he told Movistar. "The red card meant we found ourselves defending more as a team. This is part of a winning team.
"When you go ahead, you need to find a second goal to give yourself some peace of mind. If the penalty had gone in... well. It's a pity, but you have to know how to suffer.
"Leagues are won in matches like this. We have left Madrid 10 points behind, which is something we have to value."
Sunday's match marked the first time Barca have had a player sent off and also missed a penalty in a LaLiga game since March 2007 against Sevilla.
Sergi Roberto played 81 minutes of the contest and finished with the best passing accuracy (92.9 per cent) of any Barcelona player, completing 26 of his 28 passes.
The Barca academy product signed a new one-year contract on Friday, making it 14 seasons for the versatile right-back at Camp Nou.
"It is clear that I have been here for many years," he said. "I am happy to continue at this club I've spent my life with. It is where I want to be, where the coach wants me to be.
"It has been easy and we understood each other quickly. I hope that years of many titles will come."
Barcelona have now won eight games by a 1-0 scoreline in LaLiga this season, which is their most in a full season in the competition's history.
Head coach Xavi watched this latest win from high up in the stands as he served a one-match ban and was put through the wringer by his side.
"I'm never going to protest again because watching the game up there has caused me a lot of anxiety," Xavi joked. "Not being able to communicate with my players was tough.
"The red card was clear as [Araujo] was the last man. It's a shame because we were in control but didn't deal with the danger well. It's a red card.
"You have to know how to close out games. Many times we haven't done it and today we were made to suffer even more because of the sending off.
"A lack of effectiveness is making us suffer. But with many absentees today, and a red card, we showed we still won."