x

Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Valverde: Barcelona will bounce back from Espanyol defeat

Barca suffer their first defeat in any competition since August as they go down 1-0 in first leg of Copa del Rey quarter-final.

It was a frustrating night for Barcelona and Lionel Messi as they lost to Espanyol. Josep Lago / AFP
It was a frustrating night for Barcelona and Lionel Messi as they lost to Espanyol. Josep Lago / AFP

Barcelona manager Esterno Valverde is confident his side can overturn a 1-0 loss to Espanyol in the Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg.

Lionel Messi saw a penalty saved and Espanyol sub Oscar Melendo found the net with two minutes left to play as Barcelona lost their first game since August.

Speaking to fcbarcelona.com, Valverde said the saved penalty "may have been the turning point".

He added: "I liked my team a lot. They had a good attitude and had the game under control, but we didn't manage to convert the many chances we had.

"In turn, Espanyol defended well, corrected their mistakes and took their chance."

A post shared by FC Barcelona (@fcbarcelona) on

"I congratulate them and we'll meet again in a week's time.

"I hope to see the Camp Nou like it was the day against Celta, with the fans behind the team and helping us to mount a comeback. It'll be a nice game."

Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores was full of praise for Melendo.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Read more

Long Read: How Barcelona have bounced back as Valverde has inspired Messi to take charge of the Primera Liga

Lionel Messi's Barcelona emerge from summer of gloom to shine again

Brendan Rodgers interview: Philippe Coutinho 'was born to play for Barcelona'

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Speaking to the club's official website, he said: "He is with us since his youth. That he scores and signs the victory is fantastic.

"He is a mentally strong boy and it is fantastic that he has been able to knock down FC Barcelona with a goal.

"The guys have understood the game phenomenally."

The second leg takes place on January 25.