Ernesto Valverde comments on Barcelona performance against Osasuna

    Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde slammed his side’s performance after a shock away draw with the returnees Osasuna

    Deprived of the services of their headline performer, Lionel Messi, La Liga holders are enduring a disappointing start to the new season.

    After a frustrating 1-0 away loss to Athletic Bilbao in La Liga curtain-raiser, the Catalans struggled to pick up their first road victory this term after being held to a 2-2 draw by the newly-promoted Osasuna.

    In the absence of Messi, Luis Suarez, and Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona failed to impose their rhythm at Estadio El Sadar, having found themselves on the back foot inside the opening seven minutes after Roberto Torres hammered the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

    But, Barca’s youngest scorer in the league, Ansu Fati, initiated the Catalans’ comeback with a powerful header six minutes after the break, before another substitute, Arthur Melo, managed to put the visitors in front.

    The back-to-back La Liga winners, however, failed to build on that momentum, allowing Torres to level the score from a spot-kick nine minutes before the final whistle.

    Devastated by his players’ approach on Saturday afternoon, Ernesto Valverde was quick to slam his team’s performance during the post-match interview.

    “We did not play well at all, we were awful,” the Spanish manager said after the game, according to Reuters.

    “They went ahead, and we couldn’t get close to their area. Then we dominated the play in the second half, we took the lead and had the game in our hands, but they came back at us and levelled with that absurd penalty.

    “We cannot afford to let a game like this one slip. We should have been more assertive on the pitch and kept on attacking.”

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