By 90Min
August 21, 2017

New Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde stated he had a 'good feeling' about his side following the 53-year-old's first La Liga victory as the home manager at the Camp Nou. The Catalonians swept Real Betis aside with a 2-0 victory, with both goals coming in the first half. 

The first came courtesy of an own goal by Beticos left-back Alin Tosca, who edged Gerard Deulofeu's cross past goalkeeper Antonio Adan, and the second from midfielder Sergi Roberto, who was on hand to turn the former Everton winger's cross into a gaping net. 

LLUIS GENE/GettyImages

The three-point-haul came following Barca's 5-1 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana, and Valverde understood the importance in his side bouncing back from their pre-season humiliation, even with fielding a weaker side that he would have liked. 

“[We have a] good feeling, especially at the level of the team given our absences", the former Athletic Bilbao manager told the club's official website.

“The team looked very good.

“Winning like this was vital in getting back some good sensations following a bad result.

“We created chances, though the tempo dropped a little after the break.”

LLUIS GENE/GettyImages

The lack of first team stars put added pressure on Valverde's team selection before the game, with the Spaniard electing to cast Lionel Messi in a slightly different role to usual, featuring as the 'false nine'. 

However, the Barcelona boss insisted that if this selection type continued it would not change their overall style of play. 

“It was a chance to use him in this position, which he knows well and can exploit the space to good effect”, the former striker added. 

“I don’t intend to change our system often but anyway, our overall style doesn’t change. 

"The most important thing is that stay cohesive as a unit, both in defence and attack.” 

Messi's showcase performance in a slightly altered position to usual was not the only one to grab the former Spain international's attention, with midfielder Roberto, who had been utilised so often as a full-back under former manager Luis Enrique, now returning back to his preferred role and being able to get his name on the scoresheet as a result of it. 

JOSEP LAGO/GettyImages

“His work in attack and defence can be a big asset to us”, said Valverde. 

“He was great, so we’re delighted.”

Obviously the La Liga opener was played under slightly different circumstances to normal following the attacks on the city and surrounding Catalunya earlier in the week. 

But the Barca coach insisted that his side must try to continue as normal as possible and provide even the smallest amount of joy for the people of Barcelona following the awful week on the Spanish coast. 


“We have to keep going with a sense of normality” Valverde concluded. 

“We really wanted to win tonight for all the victims of the attack.”

The victory puts Barcelona joint top of La Liga, with only holding champions Real Madrid sat above the Catalonians due to a better goal difference following their 3-0 opening day win. 

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)