By 90Min
January 24, 2019

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde claimed he doesn't regret resting Lionel Messi, after his side were beaten 2-0 by Sevilla in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night.

Messi was left out of the squad entirely by Valverde, who opted for a forward trio of Carles Alena, Malcom and new signing Kevin-Prince Boateng as goals from Pablo Sarabia and Wissam Ben Yedder gave the hosts a first leg lead.

"It is true that today I made changes that I thought they were for the best," Valverde said, as quoted by Marca. "I don't regret resting Messi, it is what I had to do. It was a risky decision to start Boateng but I thought I had to take it.

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"It seems that when you win the cup many times, you do not value it until you lose it. So at the moment I say no."

Despite the negative result, Valverde said he was happy with his side's performance but admitted the lack of clear goalscoring opportunities was a problem.

He added: "During the first half we had the game more or less under control, but Sevilla were more successful and then they grew into the game.

"Obviously we have not been able to create a lot of scoring chances which was a problem for us."

The former Athletic Bilbao boss also claimed that last year's Copa del Rey had a negative effect on Barça, resulting in more rotation this season.

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He continued: "Last year we paid price for the the effort to continue in the cup, and this year we are rotating more because we think it is best.

"I analyse everything. I think we had areas where were we did well and others in which they were better. But, regardless of the result this is still a success."

Barcelona host Sevilla at Camp Nou for the return leg of the tie in a week's time on Wednesday 30 January, as they seek to overturn the deficit.

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