Ernesto Valverde Makes A Bold Claim About Barcelona

Ernesto Valverde know Barca must monitor ageing Andres Iniesta's fitness

Ernesto Valverde know Barca must monitor ageing Andres Iniesta's fitness

Ernesto Valverde's side had last tasted defeat in August, when they were beaten by Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup. He is a mentally strong boy and it is fantastic that he has been able to knock down FC Barcelona with a goal. However, it will not be the tough match for Barcelona as Espanyol are not having a great season and are not the defensive force.

"I liked my team a lot" he said. They have waited from deep and closed the inside spaces, it was hard for us, but we had the match under control and the goal chances were coming. Stoke City were reportedly after Espanyol manager Quique Sánchez Flores, but he would ultimately turn them down.

I congratulate them and we'll meet again in a week's time. It will host the return match at Camp Nou Stadium the following week. It'll be a nice game.

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Dortmund manager Peter Stöger even left him out of the squad for Sunday's game against Wolfsburg after he missed a team meeting. Stoger said: "It was a relatively important session that he stayed away from, which showed me that he is not so focused".

Oscar Melendo slotted home a neat finish with two minutes remaining of a temperamental derby cup tie, racing onto Marc Navarro's low cross to punish Messi for missing a 62nd-minute penalty and send the home crowd into raptures. But the team had never been threatened all game apart from a few dead ball situations. From there, the game went in a direction we didn't want and we complicated things. "We know already playing Espanyol at Cornella is hard".

That doesn't mean we're betting against them in the second leg.

All the goals in this game came in the second half here too and it was the visitors who stunned the home fans by taking the lead. Playing in a 3-4-2-1 formation, Espanyol had the first line of defence with five men and the second with four players holding their ground in midfield.

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