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Barça defeated Valencia 1-0 in Thursday’s Copa del Rey semi-final. A win is always a good result, but it’s a narrow margin to be taking to Mestalla next week. Let’s find out what head coach Ernesto Valverde made of it all.

On the game

"They were missing players and defended well … That’s possibly the best that any team has defended against us this season. We dominated the game, but they had a plan.”

“More than attack, we had to make sure they didn’t hit us on the counter. We knew we could score from any of our crosses, and that’s how the goal game.”

“We’d rather be taking a bigger lead into the second leg … A draw would be a good result in the second leg but we won’t go there with that intention. We lost 1-0 in our quarter final first leg and turned the tie around, so it’s all to be decided.”

On tiredness

"We’re playing a lot of games and getting very little rest in between. It’s almost Friday and we have another game on Sunday and it’s a tense match, the derby.”

“We’re going to need make changes and I’ll have to have a hard think about them … But that’s the price you pay for staying alive in every competition”

On Philippe Coutinho

"With Leo [Messi] playing in the middle, the general idea is for him to play on one of the sides. He can play on the left or the right. He was on the right at first and then moved to the left after Andrés [Iniesta] came off.”

On Samuel Umtiti

"He’s back and you can see that he’s just as good as he was before. It’s so good to have such a safe tackler as him in the team, he covers so quickly”

Quotes from the players

 
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