Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde warned Ousmane Dembele but also praised the Frenchman for his goal during the 1-1 Champions League draw against Tottenham on Tuesday.

Having already qualified as Group B winners, Valverde selected a weakened XI but handed a start to Dembele, who has courted attention in the press for his alleged tardiness and poor timekeeping.

Speaking as quoted by Goal, Valverde hailed Dembele's strike but admitted he isn't out of the woods just yet despite scoring a brilliant solo effort after Kyle Walker-Peters' mistake.


He said: "He has made a great goal, possible for players with his talent. We are happy with him and we said that throughout the season things happen that we try to solve internally.

"We hope that he and the rest will continue to give us much joys. I do not know [if the case is closed], tomorrow we have training."

Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique were among the rested Barca players, while Lionel Messi appeared as a second half substitute, and Valverde revealed the Argentinian started on the bench to be sharper for the weekend and also to give fringe players the chance to impress.

He added: "It's better for him to play for a while and to be in motion, he likes it, we also and I don't have to tell you about the fans.

"There have been players who were not there because we had an intense match three days ago.


"We wanted to see players like (Carles) Alena or (Juan) Miranda in difficult situations, as well as the response of (Jasper) Cillessen, (Thomas) Vermaelen, Arthur or Munir.

"We did not want to lose our competitive level against a very strong team."