Tata Martino chose to take the positives from Barcelona’s close-fought 3-2 win at Valencia in the League on Sunday night.
The Catalans had moved into a comfortable lead thanks to a quick-fire double from Lionel Messi completing a hat-trick in the first-half for a 3-0 score-line.
However, Helder Postiga’s two goals in the space of first-half stoppage time made for a nervy second 45, which ultimately ended 3-2 in Barca’s favour.
“Because of where we played, the hierarchy of the team we played against and because of how we played, this was the best competitive form we’ve shown,” Martino mused post-match.
“We committed some plays that proved to be fatal. I'm concerned that we gave Valencia five to 10 minutes of respite when we were ahead by three goals.
“You cannot give your opponent opportunities. If they are given it has to be because they created them and not because we gave them away.
“We could have ended with a 3-3, 2-3 or 2-5. Regardless of what could have happened I would leave here very pleased with how the team played. We found what we were looking for.
“When I manage players that are this good I can’t say what we’re missing.”
Neymar started the match in attack alongside Messi.
“There was concern about how Neymar and Messi were going to interact on the pitch after they played their first match together. They fixed that in less than 24 hours.”