Following the 2-0 win at Eibar, Barça boss Ernesto Valverde provided some insight into why he felt the game has been so difficult and the kind of tactics he used to counter the Basque pressure.

"Eibar are on an incredible run and played top quality football” he said. “We struggled in the second half and couldn’t get into their area."

"They were winning the ball in our half, causing danger with crosses from the wings and the pitch was very heavy. The game was as difficult as we had expected. But it was a lot easier when they were a man down."

Would he agree that Barça won this game by taking a very different approach to usual?

“We tried to stay loyal to our style and beat our opponent that way. But you still have to adapt from time to time. In the second half they were on top because we couldn’t break down their pressure.”

"But they were taking a lot of risks by leaving so much space behind them, and long balls were the best way to deal with that pressure and get us into goalscoring positions.”

And as for Chelsea – has today’s game affected his plans for Stamford Bridge?

“Today was good preparation for the Champions League but every game is different and Tuesday will be a different story” he insisted. “We’ll go there and try to have a good game.”

Players quotes:


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