Ernesto Valverde Expecting Tough Derby With Girona

Doug Mendoza
September 25, 2017

Barcelona made it six wins from six to move four points clear at the top of La Liga, but they were grateful for two own goals in their first Catalan derby against Girona.

"Messi being man marked is something that can happen", he shrugged.

The former Djurgadens IF striker, who is on loan from Chinese Super League side, Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng, is expected to line-up against world best player, Messi tonight.

Ernesto Valverde's charges managed to see out the closing stage easily as they maintain their 100 percent start to the season.

Barcelona were unable to cut loose however, and Messi was kept off the scoresheet.

Valverde left summer signing Nelson Semedo out of the squad for yesterday's game and also rested winger Gerard Pique, who was an unused substitute, but Barcelona were still too strong for Girona.

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Get the best sports content from the web and social in the new B/R app. While he threw his arms up in frustration at some of the challenges early on, Messi gradually settled into the game in his customary manner. "We have to be careful with the festive air that surrounds this derby". There was no bad feeling or anything amusing. "The way he has been playing over the past four or five months, you can not stop him".

Despite seeing Lionel Messi fail to make a meaningful direct contribution to his team's latest victory, Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde believes the Argentine star still played a significant part in their success.

"I had to mark him and I had to be close to him and not watch the ball", he said.

'It is hard, not just from a football perspective, but also psychologically. "I am grateful for the confidence the coach showed in me".

The Girona defender would cherish the night he stopped Messi from making any considerable impact in a football match.

Other reports by GizPress

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