Barcelona held by Athletic for 3rd straight setback in Liga

Hope Soto
October 1, 2018

Messi's arrival changed the game in Barcelona's favour but Ernesto Valverde will rue more points dropped in La Liga as he switches attention to the midweek clash with Tottenham in the Champions League.

Since Andres Iniesta left Barcelona at the end of last season, the Catalan club have been looking for options to fill in the Spaniard big boots and Lionel Messi has asked the club to sign this Real Madrid star.

Barcelona are still top of the league but they have slipped up for three games in a row and are far from their best.

"There are no excuses today", Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets said.

With Valverde beginning to rotate his team - Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba started on the bench for their loss at Leganes last time out - Barca have failed to win their last three games.

Bottom club, Leganes stunned Barcelona with a 2-1 win in the Spanish league yesterday, handing the defending champions their second straight setback, AP reports.

Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique struggled to come to terms with Barcelona's defeat.

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Mauricio Pellegrino's troops had finished the half strongly and they came flying out of the blocks after the restart to score twice in the space of a minute. "We have the strength in depth so we want to make the most of it".

"Sometimes it's hard to explain what happens in a game".

Messi added: 'We have the players to not need to depend on any one individual. We didn't create the chances we'd have liked.

"I always do that before playing games, I can't do it afterwards or rewind".

Messi was brought on 10 minutes into the second period to a rousing reception from the home fans and Barcas play instantly improved, with the Argentine smashing a shot against the post and narrowly firing wide, after Coutinho had struck the crossbar.

"We did not start well and I was disappointed for my own par in their goal but we did well to take advantage of them switching off".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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