Barcelona boss Quique Setien conceded that he may not have explained things properly to his players ahead of their 2-0 defeat at Valencia – his first loss since taking the helm.
Barcelona had the lion’s share of possession at Mestalla but that statistic counted for nothing as Valencia produced the game’s best chances and scored two second-half goals to take maximum points.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen produced a string of top saves to keep Barcelona in the game in the first half, denying Maxi Gomez from the penalty spot after Gerard Pique had brought down Jose Gaya in the area, before tipping another Gomez shot onto the woodwork.
Valencia finally made the breakthrough three minutes into the second half, opening the scoring thanks to a Jordi Alba own goal, before Gomez added a second 13 minutes before the end.
Setien was less than impressed with his side’s first-half performance and said there were things his players did not grasp – but admitted that may have been his own fault.
In a post-match interview shown on Barcelona’s official website, Setien said: “I think in the first half we were frankly poor.
“We weren’t positioned well, we didn’t have that precision, that ability to wait. They had five or six chances on the counter-attack.
“We have to evaluate a lot of things from the first half. I don’t think we played well at all in the first half. There are things that we didn’t really understand – perhaps I didn’t explain them properly to the players.
“I think perhaps we need to understand things in a bit of a better way.
“It’s true that in the second half we were able to have more space and get forward more. We had four or five chances. Some of them were really clear and we could have got into the game that way.
“But then unfortunately we weren’t able to get the goal and then they scored the second on the counter and then it was really difficult.”
Valencia’s win saw them maintain their unbeaten home record in LaLiga this season and goalscorer Gomez thought they fully deserved the victory.
He told the club’s official website: “I am very happy to help the team, we deserved this victory.
“Now we have to continue. Go game-by-game and hopefully continue with this streak.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.