Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde admitted his aspect struggled to adapt to the circumstances throughout their 1-1 draw with Espanyol within the fourth Catalan Derby of the season on Sunday afternoon.
Because the persistent, and torrential, rainfall continued to batter the Estadi Cornella-El Prat, making it powerful for any fluidity within the contest to be current, it was the hosts who asserted their dominance first, breaking the impasse shortly after the hour mark as Gerard Moreno was capable of get his head onto the top of Sergio Garcia’s superbly fizzed cross to energy his effort previous the makes an attempt of Blaugrana goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Nonetheless, with lower than 10 minutes remaining, following their finest spell all through the 90, Gerard Pique, who had been subjected to a barrage of abuse from the house followers all through, returned in variety and transformed substitute Lionel Messi’s free-kick to take a share of the spoils again to Camp Nou.
Nonetheless, regardless of the stalemate sitting Valverde within the historical past books as his aspect recorded Barcelona’s finest ever begin to a La Liga marketing campaign, remaining unbeaten for 22 fixtures; surpassing the earlier milestone of 21 set by a Pep Guardiola outfit, the Spaniard believes his aspect struggled to adapt to the just about bog-like setting and that Espanyol had been those who used it to their benefit in a simpler method.
“[It was] tough as a result of, as the sport progressed, we may play much less and needed to adapt to the circumstances on the fly”, the 53-year-old informed a post-match press convention, as quoted by Marca.
“Within the second-half, with the rain, the ball stored stopping and the pitch was harmful.
“Bearing in mind our model, I feel it was tough for us to adapt. We had been pressured to play lengthy and I feel [Espanyol] took benefit of the circumstances.”
Pique had been solid because the afternoon’s pantomime villain in the course of the conflict, with the centre-back on the receiving finish of excessive ranges of animosity in the course of the contest after his latest claims that Espanyol weren’t a part of town of Barcelona.
Barcelona set a brand new membership file for an unbeaten begin to a league season – Gerard Pique’s equaliser means they’re now unbeaten of their opening 22 La Liga video games
It was Pique’s sixth purpose v Espanyol – not scored greater than three in opposition to another staff pic.twitter.com/k6GJ9eyj8a
— Sky Sports activities Statto (@SkySportsStatto) February four, 2018
Nonetheless, as is usually the case, the house supporters had been additional enraged when the 31-year-old levelled issues up late on and made his method in direction of them earlier than placing his finger to his lips, which actually added spice to the remaining minutes.
“We already know what these sport are going to be like”, Valverde mentioned.
“Within the first-half there have been a number of fouls, however then it warmed up, which is the standard for a derby. Each deal with gave the impression to be one thing greater than a easy deal with as a result of the gamers slip.
“I contextualise [Pique’s celebration] as a part of all that gone on this week and the way the rivalry has unfolded.
“He is been good for us as a result of he assumes a whole lot of accountability in these video games.”
Blaugrana struggled all through the competition to claim their common dominance in possession, with the emergence of substitute Messi altering that on a drastic scale.
Nonetheless, regardless of his aspect evidently holding much less attacking prowess in the course of the absence of the Argentine, Valverde didn’t look upon his choice to not embrace the attacker from the beginning because the catalyst for the general disappointing outcome and insisted each participant might be topic to rotation sooner or later within the season.
“There are a lot of video games in a row and we have now to be a bit cautious”, he added.
“We often accomplish that with every participant. I had deliberate to do it on the fly. He can win us many issues at any floor.”