Ernesto Valverde: Barcelona Did Not Play A 'Well-Rounded Game'


The third goal was humiliating enough. It has only three days to piece itself back together for another clasico.

The problem for Santiago Solari's team on Wednesday was their finishing. In their 17 matches there in the last decade, Barcelona has won 10, beginning with a 6-2 rout under coach Pep Guardiola in 2009.

The defender symbolises Barcelona's best performance in Madrid of late. He was key in the Copa del Rey semi-final win with two assists.

Barcelona lead Real by nine points in La Liga, with Atletico Madrid seven points behind and still the closest challengers. It would leave the Champions League as the only competition in which it can still succeed in its first season without Cristiano Ronaldo in almost a decade. Of course you must do many things, play well, create chances, but above all you must be ruthless in the important moments.

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The former Madrid manager also had a few words to say about Brazilian starlet Vinicius, stating: "age is neither a merit nor a disadvantage; he, like many others, is young and has the ability to be an important player".

Vinicius Junior's teammates were quick to show their support for him. It was not a well-rounded game from us, I have to admit. "When we lose, we all lose".

Barca seemed to relish their role as Real's tormentors and Suarez took the ball from usual penalty taker Lionel Messi to complete their fourth victory in five visits to the Bernabeu with an ice-cool finish from the spot. Messi came on for the final half and hour, but he's expected to go from the start on Wednesday after scoring a hat trick vs. Sevilla over the weekend.

The last time they lost a Copa tie was the 2014 final, when they were beaten 2-1 by Madrid.

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After conceding at home, Barcelona needed to score at the Bernabeu to have any chance of advancing, and it didn't look good for the Catalan club as it was outplayed by Madrid throughout the first half.

Real Madrid are likely to be relying on the Champions League again for another trophy this season but there was room for encouragement against Barcelona on Wednesday beyond their resounding defeat.

"Saturday's match has the same importance as before and we will have to improve to win here again", Valverde said.

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