Ernesto Valverde insists Chelsea made his Barcelona team ‘suffer’, despite their 3-0 win in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday.
Lionel Messi’s brace and a first-ever Barca goal for Ousmane Dembele fired the Catalans into the quarter-finals, with the scoreline suggesting Valverde’s side had it all their own way against Chelsea.
“The match had real substance. They have extraordinary players and it was a great match,” the Coach said after the game.
“In the first leg, they hit the woodwork twice but we dominated them. Tonight we played well again, keeping the ball, but they were very dangerous.
“Ultimately we knew how to protect our lead and built on it, but we suffered until the final whistle.
“They showed that they’re a difficult team to face, with some very good players. Dembele? He fulfilled his role in the match because the idea was for him to give us depth in our play.
“Moses and Marcos [Alonso] had lots of shots out wide, but he blocked an important one in the box.
“We also had Sergi Roberto on a card, so we had to focus on [the right-hand side] even more.
“Messi? Having him in the team is a luxury, he’s so decisive that he can score from anywhere and improve you in any situation.
“Cheers for Gomes? The reaction from the fans was very positive. It’s good if he takes some steps forward after his interview. He has the ability to do so.
“He’s a very good player, who’s done well when he’s come on in certain games. He has potential and hard work in him, as well as qualities that the coaches see every day.”