Valverde accepts Barcelona boos as Catalans fail to fire in Champions League


The Catalan boss admits the fans are right to be demanding more from his side after another poor performance

Ernesto Valverde has no problem with his Barcelona side being whistled and booed by the fans at Camp Nou, with the coach calling on the players to respond after they were held to a 0-0 Champions League draw by Slavia Prague.

Barca failed to get back to winning ways following their 3-1 La Liga defeat to Levante at the weekend, piling the pressure on Valverde.

Lionel Messi hit the crossbar and he and his team-mates were frequently frustrated by Slavia goalkeeper Ondrej Kolar, who produced an inspired display in between the posts.

Slavia were excellent value for their point, however, with the result leaving Barca still with work to do to progress from Group F.

Tuesday’s clash was the first time the Catalans have failed to score at Camp Nou in all competitions since February 2018 – a run of 45 matches. 

Speaking the match, Valverde conceded his side have failed to live up to expectations recently and must do better soon. 

“The other day we lost against Levante and it does not escape us that the last two have not been our best matches,” Valverde told Movistar

“We know there has been a lot of pressure on the team and we have to respond. In football, everything happens very fast. 

“Three days ago we were in a great moment and three days later it seems that we have entered a pothole. But that means that in three days we can turn it around.” 

Asked about the reaction of Barcelona fans at full-time, he added: “It has been okay to be demanding of the team.”

Jordi Alba was replaced at half-time because of a hamstring injury and Valverde said the full-back will have tests to reveal the extent of the issue.

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Alba’s potential absence has been another blow to a Barca defence that will be without Gerard Pique in their next Champions League meeting with Borussia Dortmund on November 27 after receiving his third booking in this European campaign.

The Catalans will be hoping to turn around their recent poor form on Saturday when they host Celta Vigo. 

Valverde’s side are currently top of La Liga on goal difference with both Real Madrid and Real Sociedad boasting the same number of points. 


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