Ernesto Valverde believes Barcelona picked up a ‘good’ point against Atletico Madrid and has challenged Gerard Deulofeu to step up.
Luis Suarez’s late header rescued a 1-1 draw for Barca to keep them five points at the top of La Liga, and Valverde reflected on his side’s performance at Wanda Metropolitano with enthusiasm.
“We knew that Atleti were a team that managed their leads well,” the Coach said after the game.
“It was difficult to overcome their defensive lines, but we played with drive and spirit. We wanted to win, but we’ll treat the point as a good one.
“We lacked depth in the first half, we found it difficult to get into their box. We had more chances in the second, but we were also more exposed. Ultimately, we can all be accused of wear and tear.
“Messi? He had wear and tear from travelling and the tension of [Argentina’s] matches, but we know that he always responds to any situation.
“The respect that Messi shows his opponents is also an asset. Every part of him can be noticed. When he gets the ball, you know something is going to happen.
“Suarez? I saw him play very well, beyond his goal. Forwards live on [goals] and their confidence changes radically.
“When they don’t, it seems like they chase shadows, but he scored his goal and then had another very clear chance.
“He moves well when there’s not much space in our opponents’ box. I hope he 1n a good run [of goals]
“Deulofeu? He’s a player that takes risks with every move. He’s explosive, especially from one-on-ones.
“We need players that take risks and can break situations. We’ve lacked that audacity in attack and he’ll give us it.”