By 90Min
November 01, 2017

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde praised his side's efforts after the 0-0 draw with Olympiakos on Tuesday.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez had Barca's best chances, Suarez hitting the bar with a looped shot, but hosts Olympiakos defended admirably to secure their first point of their Champions League campaign.

ARIS MESSINIS/GettyImages

Speaking as quoted by Sport, Valderde said all that was missing from Barcelona's display was a goal.

He said: "We just lacked a goal. The players gave everything. We tried to get close to the Olympiakos goal through possession.

"They were great at the back and wanted to try and surprise us on the counter. We could have won and qualified... but we didn't take the step forward we wanted in the group.

LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/GettyImages

"We're satisfied, but not happy. The problem is that when they're so deep, there's a lot of players from both teams in the same area. 

"It makes everything more complicated, having to open defences which are so closed off. It's the most difficult thing in football -- it's easier the other way around!

"Obviously our intention was to win and I think we had the chances to manage that, but they were great in defence. We weren't efficient with our chances, but never mind. Now we have two games ahead of us and we will look at things from a positive point of view. 

LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/GettyImages

"We're in the same position as before and with a point in the next game we will seal first place. And that's what we will try to do."

Striker Suarez had several chances but a goal eluded him, but Valverde was still pleased with the Uruguayan's performance.

He added: "I like the version of Luis Suarez we're getting. Sometimes a goal can depend on a matter of centimetres. 

"I will say it again: what I like most about my players is that they're getting chances, a lot, because that's a good sign. The success will come. Today we had a lot of chances."

The match was an emotional homecoming of sorts for Valverde, who managed Olympiakos in two different spells and won three Superleagues and two Greek Football Cups with the club.

He said: "These things (huge home reception for him) always strike a chord. The Greeks are very generous people, they always have been with me. They had a lot of patience with me and it's been a really emotional occasion."


You May Like