Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde 'not satisfied' despite 8-2 victory over Huesca

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Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were both on target.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde was not fully satisfied after watching his side thrash Huesca 8-2 to go top of La Liga.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both scored twice and after Jorge Pulido’s own goal Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic and Jordi Alba were all on target as Valverde’s side ran riot in the second half.

But Huesca had opened the scoring through Watford loanee Cucho Hernandez and pulled it back to 3-2 before the break when Alex Gallar converted a cut-back.

Despite the lop-sided scoreline, both Huesca’s goals rankled with Valverde.

“I’m happy because we created many chances, but I’m not satisfied with the two goals conceded. We have to limit the chances near our area,” he said after the game.

Huesca made a fight of the first period, but Barca hit the woodwork through Dembele and Messi either side of the break and eventually ran their opponents ragged.

“We had patience and dominated the game, and eight goals are the product of the plays we generated throughout the game,” Valverde added.

Barca, who leapfrogged Celta Vigo and Real Madrid into top spot, have started the season with four straight wins in all competitions having launched their campaign last month with victory against Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup.

“The goal was to reach the break in September with nine points and the Super Cup title,” Valverde added.

“We’ve many games coming up, but it’s better to be ahead (in La Liga) after the first three games.”

Huesca, promoted to the top flight in May, were unbeaten in their first two La Liga games this season, winning at Eibar and drawing at Athletic Bilbao and coach Leo Franco remained proud of his team.

“In this game I asked the players for the courage to play, to face the best team in the world and with that first part we did, we got it,” he said.

“The result is bulky and hurts, but I am grateful for the effort of my players. They have continued running and fighting despite the minutes and the result.”

The 41-year-old Argentinian added: “We had an idea, we were brave and we knew how to go forward.

“You have to be very mature to do that and the team has shown that it is.”

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Lionel Messi scores a 9 while there are four 8s as Barcelona hammer Huesca

Andy West 2/09/2018
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Barcelona turned on the style with an eight-goal show against outclassed Huesca to maintain their 100 per cent record in La Liga.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both scored twice but there were plenty more bright, individual performances in a highly entertaining contest.

We run the rule over all the players here.

BARCELONA

Ter Stegen 6: Maybe could have come off his line more quickly for Huesca’s two goals but that’s being harsh. Solid overall.

Roberto 6: The least incisive of Barca’s players coming forward, but he worked hard and always made himself available on the overlap.

Pique 7: Generally commanding in the heart of defence despite facing strong pressure and came close to scoring a couple of times.

Umtiti 5: Beaten for the second goal and looked uncomfortable against Huesca’s attacking approach. Limped off midway through the second half, probably not serious.

Alba 8: Hard-charging performance, constantly penetrating Huesca’s penalty area. Registered two assists and finished off a strong show with a well-taken goal.

Rakitic 7: Got into advanced positions from early on, forcing a good save with a long-range strike and arrowing home a fine finish for the fifth.

Busquets 7: Helped Barca take control in the first half with his perceptive passing ability. Less influence after the break and was substituted.

Coutinho 8: Showed twinkle toes to regularly create danger, especially for a back-heeled one-two with Alba and a great assist for Messi.

Messi 9: Scored twice including the key equaliser, crashed another shot against the bar, delivered great assists to Rakitic and Alba. What more to say?

Suarez 8: Much brighter, getting a badly-needed first goal of the season with a crisp near-post finish. Also netted a penalty and assisted Dembele.

Dembele 8: Some loose touches but always menacing with his creative spark. Great pass to Alba for the second goal and a firm finish for the fourth.

SUBS:

Lenglet 6: Came into the centre of defence and was barely tested as Huesca ran out of steam, but looked comfortable enough.

Vidal 6: Generally tidy after being introduced for Rakitic midway through the second half, but earned a yellow card for a crunching foul on Avila.

Arthur 6: Kept things simple in the centre of the field after relieving Busquets, doing a fetching and carrying job with calm control.

Luis Suarez got off the mark for the season with a double.

Luis Suarez got off the mark for the season with a double.

HUESCA

Werner 5: Strangely played alright despite conceding eight, making good saves from Rakitic, Messi and Coutinho.

Miramon 5: Got forward well at times including an excellent cross for the early opener, but really struggled defensively against Alba.

Pulido 5: Tigerish no-nonsense defending from the old school, getting close to his opponents, but scored a silly own goal to send Barca ahead.

Etxeita 3: Really struggled to contain Suarez and looked the weak link in the visiting defence, although the team’s wide open structure didn’t help.

Luisinho 4: Badly beaten by Messi for the equaliser and didn’t improve from there. Offered little going forward and repeatedly exposed defensively.

Gallar 4: Sharp finish for Huesca’s second goal but struggled to have much of an impact on the right flank and was substituted.

Musto 3: Physical midfielder who had the job of protecting his back four but the scoreline suggests he failed. Booked for bundling over Alba.

Melero 7: The pick of the visiting team. Busy and precise on the ball and tenacious in the tackle, but regularly overwhelmed by Barca’s attacks.

Gomez 5: Started on the left wing and finished more centrally. Delivered a smart flicked cross for the second goal and tried to be progressive.

Longo 6: Headed down well for the opener and was a dangerous target man before the visitors ran out of steam and he was substituted.

Hernandez 6: Produced a deft finish for Huesca’s early goal and worked hard, but his decision making was sometimes suspect. Replaced near the end.

SUBS:

Gurler 5: Came on as a left winger but his team was well beaten by that stage and he couldn’t make an impression.

Semedo 5: Reinforcement to the centre of defence for the final 25 minutes and made some good interventions but had a tough task.

Avila 5: The scorer of a remarkable late equaliser at Athletic Bilbao last week but he couldn’t reproduce those heroics this time, offering little.

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Live Barcelona Blog: Ronaldinho does not think Neymar will return to Camp Nou

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Hello Barca fans, Jay Asser here bringing you the latest on all things Blaugrana.

The club return to action today as they host newly-promoted Huesca, who are unbeaten through two games.

As always, get in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook.

7:50pm – Barca XI v Huesca

Here’s Barcelona’s starting XI against Huesca at the Camp Nou.

6:20pm – Watch Ronaldinho play foot-volley

Former Barcelona star Ronaldinho was in Catalonia to promote a foot-volley tournament on Saturday.

Watch the video here.

5:15pm – Ronaldinho wants to see Neymar back at Barca

Barcelona legend Ronaldinho admits he would be happy to see compatriot Neymar return to the Camp Nou.

Read more here.

Neymar looks unlikely to move to the Bernabeu this summer.

Neymar

12:30pm – Ernesto Valverde still has plans for wantaway Rafinha

There’s been little for Rafinha to be encouraged about at Barcelona since La Liga has returned, despite a strong showing in pre-season.

But ahead of the game against Huesca, Valverde explained why he kept the midfielder around – read more here.

rafinha-alcantara

11:22am – Alba has point to prove while Suarez struggling

Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez will be two players to watch when Barcelona vie for a third straight win to open their La Liga campaign.

Alba was excluded from the first Spain squad, while Suarez has yet to get going in the new season.

Read about that and other talking points ahead of the game.

jordi-alba

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