Monday, 23 April, 2018

Ernesto Valverde: 'Important Barcelona lifted gloom'

PSG president dismisses reports of Tuchel agreement PSG president dismisses reports of Tuchel agreement
Tamara Craig | 16 April, 2018, 12:17

Although Ernesto Valverde's Barca suffered an embarrassing defeat in Europe, they are sitting comfortably at the top of the table, holding an 11-point lead with just seven games left to the campaign.

"It was more important that we picked ourselves up after a hard week and the players have showed great attitude today and stepped up". The narrow scoreline suggests he was right to do so as Barca picked up another win, but if the team do not win next week's King's Cup final against Sevilla more questions will be asked about his unwillingness to rotate his squad.

"The value of these three points is great, they are three points of gold", Valverde said.

"I mean, what Juve, Roma have done - I guess nobody will say that Real Madrid have already won the Champions League".

Talking about Barcelona's elimination at hands of Roma, Iniesta said: "The disappointment and the mistakes we did bad still hurt".

Luis Suarez netted the first goal 15 minutes into the game, seizing on Philippe Coutinho's pass.

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Valencia, however, found a foothold and arguably were the better side by the end of the half.

Valencia responded well, though, Guedes seeing a low striker saved by Ter Stegen before firing a deflected effort just wide after picking up a loose ball in the Barca box.

Barcelona started the second half like they began the first though and five minutes after the restart, they doubled their advantage.

Veteran Andres Iniesta followed suit after being nicely set-up by Messi following an exciting combination, with the Spaniard pulling off a volley which Neto pulled away from danger.

But the visitors gave them a late scare when Dani Parejo's penalty squirmed underneath Marc-Andre ter Stegen after Ousmane Dembele fouled Andreas Pereira.

Both United players have been tipped to join Real Madrid when this season wraps up next month, and with all these conditions met, the Red Devils would have fulfilled all requirements to sign the former Barca star ahead of Real this summer.

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