WATCH: "Lionel Messi got injured on day one" - Ernesto Valverde dismisses Barcelona critics

Sport360 staff 29/09/2019
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Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde reacted after his team overcame the absence of Lionel Messi to beat Getafe 2-0 in La Liga on Saturday.

Luis Suarez scored off a long pass from goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Junior Firpo added a second for the Catalans. They ended the weekend two points behind leaders Real Madrid.

See what the boss had to say in the video above:






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Barcelona defender Gerard Pique demands unity on and off the pitch

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Barcelona defender Gerard Pique demanded unity on and off the pitch after his side finally banished their away day demons with a 2-0 win at Getafe.

Goals from Luis Suarez and Junior Firpo ended a run of eight games without a win on their travels – and eased the pain in the wake of Barca’s worst La Liga start in 25 years.

Speaking to Spanish media, Pique said: “We need to be together – and when I say together, I mean the fans and the board too.

“We’re hoping that nobody tries to provoke battles that aren’t there, and which we don’t want. We need to keep the club united.”

Victory brought under-pressure Ernesto Valverde his second straight win after they ended their dismal run with a midweek triumph over Villarreal.

And Valverde admitted he was relieved to earn three points away from home for the first time this season.

Valverde told a press conference: “I think after recent results away from home we needed to win.

“It was a good away trip because we were asked a lot of questions and it was a tough game. I think we played well, we had chances and we were really solid.”

Meanwhile Valverde admitted there was some doubt over whether Ousmane Dembele will be ready for the midweek Champions League clash with Inter Milan.

Valverde said Dembele was left out of his line-up for Getafe as a precautionary measure after discussions with the forward.

Valverde added: “It was more of a precaution – he’s told me that he’s calm. We think it’s a little nuisance, but nothing serious.”

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Ernesto Valverde delighted as Barcelona beat Getafe to secure 'crucial' away win

Sport360 staff 28/09/2019
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Ernesto Valverde was a relieved man as Barcelona ended their wait for an away win in La Liga with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Getafe.

Their first victory away from home since April was a vital one ahead of the derby between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid later on Saturday night.

“This match was crucial for us to rid ourselves of the sensation of never being able to win away,” said Valverde.

“We knew that we were going to play at a very demanding ground in hot conditions, on a pitch where the ball doesn’t zip much and against a tough opponent that stops you from playing.

“We didn’t play well in the first half but once we took the lead they basically didn’t have any chances.”

A remarkable counter-attack goal launched by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and finished off by Luis Suarez put Barca on their way four minutes before the break, and Junior’s tap-in shortly after the restart made sure of the three points.

Ter Stegen is embroiled in a row with Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer over the Barca stopper’s lack of opportunities with the Germany team.

However he showed his class when he raced out of his goal to stop a Getafe attack before launching a pin-point pass over the home side’s dozing defence to Suarez, who calmly lobbed the opener over David Soria.

“Sometimes when passes come off like this the goalkeeper is just clearing the ball. I don’t know if that is the case here, but regardless he brings us a lot,” added Valverde.

The win was Barca’s second in a week as they attempt to recover from an miserable start that led to questions surrounding Valverde’s future.

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