Ernesto Valerde claims Barcelona’s 6-1 victory over Eibar was unfair on the Basques as “they caused us problems and put us under a lot of pressure.”
Lionel Messi scored four and Paulinho netted for the second game running on Tuesday, as did Denis Suarez, to keep Barca top of La Liga and move them 10 goals clear of second-placed Sevilla, but Valverde felt the scoreline flattered the Catalans.
“When the game ends and we read the scoreline, it looks easy, but when you’re playing, it’s not so simple,” he said after the game.
“The scoreline was too generous as they caused us problems. It seems that we turned them over at 6-1, but it wasn’t the case. They put us under a lot of pressure and are a brave team.
“We were able to rest some players and give minutes to those that needed to play, and we did well.
“Paulinho? He got into [Eibar’s] box, he’s a clever player. He struggled to get into the right positions at first but quickly got himself in gear.
“He has a different profile to the other players we have. Others are more noted for their positional play, while he is strong, plays in the second lines and makes clever runs. The goal helped him get into the game. We hope that he keeps helping us.
“Deulofeu? He and Aleix are wide men, and they have to help us now and throughout the season.
“Denis’ goals have given him confidence and Deulofeu can also score. Messi? He’s one of the cleverest players I’ve seen on a pitch.
“You don’t know how he does it, but he’ll pop up somewhere. He’s extraordinary. We played in a different way.
“Luis wasn’t involved, but Messi is the same wherever you play him. He’ll do something when it seems like nothing’s going to happen, and that something’s good for us and very bad for our opponents.
“I don’t know what to say about Messi anymore. He’s churning out performances like these regularly. He does it time and time again.
“Him scoring four goals is no longer news. He loves football and enjoys playing it. Aleix? He played as a full-back in the Supercopa and did so throughout preseason.
“We’ll see if he plays further forward, but he’s versatile. Semedo? He’s a very strong player, very quick. We play with lots of space behind our backs and he helps us.
“All our new faces need time to adapt and I hope they keep helping us. Goals? I’m not afraid about the team playing too well too soon, but I would’ve been if we were doing badly.
“Semedo’s penalty? I don’t know if it was one, I had a very bad view of it. Suarez? I think this rest will have done him a world of good.
“He’s feeling good and we hope that he’ll help us in every way possible.”