Ernesto Valverde has rejected claims Barcelona have become boring after they earned their eighth consecutive win in all competitions with a 1-0 victory against Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday.
Barca were not at their best in Portugal but still made it back-to-back wins in this season’s Champions League thanks to Sebastian Coates’ second half own goal.
“Everyone is free to say what they want,” the coach said in his postgame news conference. “I don’t get bored — especially not when we win.
“There are times when you win in an exciting way, scoring lots of goals, and then there are other times when you have to suffer to win. That’s how it is.
“We knew that in order to win here we would have to suffer against strong opposition. I think we began the game in a determined manner. We dominated the first half, although we were exposed to Sporting’s counter-attacks — they’re very quick.
“After the goal we had 10, 15 minutes when they put us under pressure and we lost the ball at times, which created insecurity. They had chances, but we could have killed the game off, too… that’s how the Champions League is.”
Luis Suarez’s loss of form is one of the reasons for that, but Valverde defended his striker, who has scored just two goals in all competitions so far this season.
“Suarez scored on Saturday,” he pointed out, referencing the weekend’s 3-0 win against Girona.
“I would be worried if he wasn’t getting into goal scoring positions, but he’s always close. Even for the goal today, he was there, close [to Coates]. I’m sure he will get back scoring again.”
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