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Ernesto Valverde Makes A Bold Claim About Barcelona

18 January, 2018, 14:22 | Author: John Swanson
  • Mario Hermoso Espanyol

Messi saw his spot-kick spared by Diego Lopez before Espanyol sub Oscar Melendo scored a critical victor two minutes from time in the 1st leg of their Copa del Rey quarterfinal.

Valverde said: "I liked my team a lot".

Pique was subjected to insults from Espanyol supporters about his relationship with singer Shakira during the game, while Barca goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen was struck by an object from the crowd.

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The 30-year-old failed to score in any of Barcelona's six Champions League group games, missed easy chances and was bereft of confidence, despite Valverde consistently starting him.

Espanyol had never beaten Barca in their new stadium before, the last team they won a home game against them was in 2007 when current Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde was their manager.

The second leg is scheduled to be played next Friday.

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The first half ended with a Denis Suarez shot that flew inches off target, but with Barca in complete control of this tie, despite not being able to find a breakthrough at the mid-way point.

Madrid also gets to host the second leg at home when it faces Leganes, which is based in the city of the same name just south of the Spanish capital.

"It was hard to play on the pitch at times. We have to accept the result". Some were enforced, with Andres Iniesta and Ousmane Dembele joining a lengthy injury list this week, while others, such as Luis Suarez, were left on the bench.

Chelsea FC draw 0-0 at home vs Leicester City
Given the speculation surrounding their manager, it was intriguing to note the response of Chelsea fans. As for Fabregas, the Spaniard makes Chelsea tick and without him they lacked creativity in midfield.

Soon to celebrate his 31st birthday, the centre-back has played over 420 games for his boyhood club and is one of the most decorate players of his generation anywhere in the world.

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