Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde, has said that Girona’s game plan to man-mark Lionel Messi, worked to their advantage.
Messi endured a frustrating night, as his impact in the match was reduced by on-loan Manchester City defender, Pablo Maffeo.
However, two own-goals and a late Luis Suarez goal, saw Barca win 3-0 and continue their perfect start to the La Liga campaign.
“The man-marking was clear and we had to find the place where to put Messi to move that player [Maffeo] and to get the most out of the situation,” Valverde said in his postgame news conference.
“You have to take advantage of the situation. We tried to get the better of them by playing in the space and taking advantage of Leo’s movement.
“I think Messi was fine. It’s true that when you’re man-marked it can be uncomfortable, but it also has advantages, not for him, but for the team. I think he was relaxed about it all.
“It was a difficult game because it was a derby, because of the atmosphere and the tension, but I think we managed it well. Maybe we struggled to finish the game off, but we’ve got the win.”
Messi had scored nine goals in five league games going into Saturday’s first-ever top flight meeting between the two Catalan sides.
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