Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde insists that his side conceded too many opportunities to PSV Eindhoven in their 2-1 UEFA Champions League victory over the Dutch outfit at the Philips Stadion.

The Blaugrana, who had already clinched qualification for the knockout stages, secured top spot with the victory against the Eredivisie side. But they didn't have it all their own way, with Eindhoven striking the woodwork three times in the first-half.

Second-half strikes from Lionel Messi and Gerard Piqué ensured the Catalans would take back all three points to the Camp Nou, despite Luuk de Jong's late consolation for the hosts.

The La Liga outfit struggled to get going in the early stages of the first half and were forced into several unusual errors by their opponents, whose striker De Jong posed a constant threat for Barça.

As quoted by Marca, Valverde said: "They created chances. De Jong is tough to defend and we suffered.

"We had problems in the first 20 minutes and conceded more chances than necessary," he added. "It was a very open game and it is true that we were in many strange situations, as we were continuing to lose the ball, but in the game we were dangerous."

Valverde's men improved in the second half but suffered spells of goal-mouth pressure. However, the Spaniard indicated that his side did well to ride the storm and punish PSV, who couldn't prevent Messi from opening the scoring, as a result of a swift counter.


"In the second half we scored and then we tightened up while they risked [pushing forward in the search of goals].

"The worst part was at the beginning, where they were very energetic, and at the end," Valverde remarked. "But you have to know how to get through these moments."

When discussing the opener, Valverde admitted that he was puzzled that Messi, who provided the assist for Piqué, was able to find the net from that angle, but also indicated that both he and Ousmane Dembélé are more than capable of scoring from anywhere on the pitch.


"I don't know how he made the move [to score]. We arrived [with lots of options] on that side. Messi and [Ousmane] Dembélé can take a shot from anywhere."

Dembélé was involved in Messi's goal and had a great game for the Catalans, who were without injured striker Luis Suárez. However, Valverde implied that at Barcelona there is always room for improvement.

"The improvement in relation to all of us is never finished. Our job is to win. He's a great player and he played well."