NEWS
Sunday February 11 2018
Valverde: Winning in La Liga ‘tough’

Ernesto Valverde reminded Barcelona fans “it’s tough to win” in La Liga and that “it’s only natural we had a stumble” against Getafe on Sunday.

Barca drew for the second week running, firing blanks at home to Getafe, and Valverde admitted his side “lacked some freshness and continuity” in their play.

“We possibly lacked some freshness, especially in the first half, and also continuity in our game. We didn’t have our usual spark,” he said after the game.

“They played their game, trying to stifle ours, with many fouls in the middle of the foul, and this meant that we needed to keep our play flowing.

“We knew how to pin them further back in the second half. They were more dangerous on the break later on, but that was also when we had more chances to score.

“It wasn’t a usual partnership in central defence. Lucas [Digne] played in a position that isn’t his and Yerry was debuting in La Liga.

“We’re happy, but it’s true that in the end, it’s the result that counts. We marked this week out a long time ago, reaching it with objectives fulfilled like we have.

“This’ll be a week we use to recover and rest so that we can face the next stretch, with the enthusiasm of the Champions League and La Liga, which still has a long way to go.

“It’s tough to win in this League, even on your own pitch, and it shows that nothing’s been won yet, even if we’re top.

“I would’ve liked to pick up the three points. It wasn’t to be, but we have a very long month ahead and we’ve already qualified for a Final, so it’s only natural that we had a stumble.

“You can’t win all your matches, there can always be some stumbling and it’s nothing that we didn’t know could happen.

“Dembele? He came on at a time when he thought he could help because he’s a player that can make a difference, but perhaps his time out cost him as he wasn’t able to go on as often as he’d have liked. Still, it was his first step.

“He possibly had some anxiety, but I prefer that he tried several things, even if they didn’t always come off.”

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