Ernesto Valverde says Barcelona will give Villarreal match-winner Ousmane Dembele ‘plenty of time’ and that Sergi Roberto was ‘provoked’ in the Clasico.
“One of our objectives after we became champions was not to slow down and maintain the same fighting spirit as the one we’ve shown throughout the season, so we value this match very positively,” said the Coach after Wednesday’s 5-1 thrashing of the Yellow Submarine.
“We had a great first half, during which we were absolutely dominant. In the second, the game was more open and we faced some dangerous breaks, maybe because we slowed down a bit.
“We responded very well to all the noise from the Clasico. Dembele? He’s a player with a lot of talent and technique. He’s two-footed, quick and he likes one-on-ones.
“He can help us a lot, but he’s young and he needs to adapt. Still, he has plenty of time ahead of him.
“He had a great game and the build-up to his [second] goal was precious. We expect a lot from him and the fact he’s scoring gives him and the team confidence.
“Rakitic? He’s in a great run of form. It was also seen against Madrid, when we had 10 men. He’s a guarantee because of his work and how he plays. He’s in a run of form where he’ll do well wherever you play him.
“Sergi Roberto? It seems excessive, we didn’t expect it. I’ve already seen the incident on TV, Marcelo went into him without the ball and Sergi was provoked.
"If we have look at the background, we know we’re right. We were surprised by the punishment, but having seen the Damian [Suarez] incident [during Getafe-Girona]. I think they’ll correct their mistake.”