Ernesto Valverde hails Barcelona’s battling spirit

- Advertisement -

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde praised his side for not losing faith after Lionel Messi came off the bench to net a last-minute equaliser as the LaLiga leaders fought back to draw 2-2 at Sevilla.

Franco Vazquez fired the home side, who are chasing a top-five finish, into the lead after 36 minutes and there looked no way back when Colombia forward Luis Muriel added another early in the second half.

Barca’s talisman, who has been carrying a hamstring problem, was sent on for the last 30 minutes and immediately lifted his team.

Even though Sevilla had missed several chances to kill off the match, Luis Suarez set up a grandstand finish before Messi clipped in a dramatic equaliser.

The draw saw Valverde’s men extend their unbeaten LaLiga run to 37 matches and edged them closer to regaining the title, not to mention a confidence boost going into their Champions League quarter-final against Juventus.

“We took a chance, things were not going that well for us,” Valverde said in an interview on the club’s official website.

“In the first half, despite them creating chances, we also had some as well. It was fairly even, but they went into the break with an advantage and then scored a second just after half-time.

“They had the chance then to play on the counter-attack and when they did that we had to come back, but you know what can happen.

“However, if you have faith you can keep playing. We were looking for the goal to get us back into the game, we did and then we got the second.

“If there had been five more minutes, I don’t know what would have happened.

“This will be great for the spirit of the team because we know how important the game was to keep that run without losing going.”

Sevilla host German side Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Head coach Vincenzo Montella admitted it was a bittersweet result.

“I’m proud of the team. We had chances to finish the game and it was painful because Barcelona have great players,” Montella said in quotes published on the club’s official website.

“You’re a bit angry of course and nervous (with Barcelona’s comeback), but I’m also proud because the team played with confidence.

“We have to improve but football is like that.

“I think this is good for Tuesday (against Bayern) because we’ll go into the game with even more enthusiasm.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.