An own goal gave Barcelona a scrappy 1-0 win at Sporting CP in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Barca enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in Lisbon and were only missing Ousmane Dembele from their starting XI but mustered just eight attempts at Rui Patricio’s goal.
Indeed, the Catalans relied on Sebastian Coates deflecting Luis Suarez’s header into his own net to preserve their 100 percent start in Group D.
“We started the match well and dominated the first half,” summarised Coach Ernesto Valverde after the game.
“We scored in the second half, and it’s true they took a step forward after that, while we possibly could’ve done with a bit more substance to our play.
“Sporting grew from some of our failings, and we also have to credit them for the pressure they put us under.
“We had to suffer, but ultimately we achieved the victory, which is what we wanted. We knew beforehand that in order to win, we had to suffer.”
However, Sporting boss Jorge Jesus rued his team’s failure to capitalise on a poor Barca performance.
“I’m not in a good mood. It’s a shame,” he told reporters.
“I think Sporting had a chance to beat Barca. We controlled all their movements in the first half.
“They weren’t the creative team they usually are. We went into half-time at 0-0 and I told them we had a great chance to beat Barca.
“We had enough chances to do so. Despite our own goal, Sporting showed that they were a great team.”
Sporting CP 0-1 Barcelona
Coates og 49
Sporting CP: Rui Patricio; Piccini, Coates, Mathieu, Coentrao (Jonathan Silva 74); William, Battaglia; Martins, Bruno Fernandes, Acuna (Bruno Cesar 73); Doumbia (Dost 44)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Sergi Roberto (Gomes 87), Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta (Paulinho); Suarez (Vidal 89), Messi
Referee: Hategan (ROM)