Barcelona suffered against Sporting, claims Valverde

Date published: Thursday 28th September 2017 11:16

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde admitted his side failed to take many of their chances despite their Champions League victory against Sporting Lisbon.

The two teams were both unbeaten heading into the fixture in Portugal but an own-goal from Sporting’s Sebastian Coates gave the Spanish giants the win.

Sporting were unbeaten coming into Wednesday night’s European tie and on the back of a 3-2 win at Olympiacos from their opening Group D fixture.

The LaLiga leaders extended their winning run to eight matches in all competitions, but were far from their free-flowing best.

Despite some resolute defending, the Portuguese side were eventually undone early in the second half.

Barcelona’s goal, though, had more than a slice of luck about it as Lionel Messi’s 49th minute free-kick into a crowded penalty box came off the back of Luis Suarez’s head before bouncing onto the chest of Coates and then dropping over the line.

Nevertheless, Valverde was happy to take the result, if not the performance.

“If you want to win big games you have to suffer. The atmosphere was huge and our opponents were good,” the Barcelona coach said at a post-match press conference.

“We played with real determination, we dominated the first half, but were conscious of their ability to counter attack.

“When we went 1-0 ahead, then Sporting clenched their teeth and caused us a little insecurity.

“When we got chances to seal the win, we didn’t take them, but this is the Champions League and it is never easy.”

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