Valverde takes responsibility for shock Barcelona defeat
Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde accepted full responsibility for the LaLiga champions' shock 2-1 loss against Leganes midweek.
Valverde's Barca had gone in front through Philippe Coutinho's fine 12th-minute volley and looked in control until Levante struck in quick succession shortly after the interval on Wednesday.
Nabil El Zhar set the turnaround in motion with a thumping back-post header and it was Oscar Rodriguez who capitalised on Gerard Pique's dreadful error before Barca had been given time to take stock.
Valverde – who opted not to start Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba – concedes that he is the only one to blame for the surprise reverse.
"Sure, in the end the coach is responsible, I feel like a coach feels when he loses," he said in his post-match media conference.
"Today there have been two changes. In the case of Luis, I had planned to rest him this week and because Jordi had played all games so far, I was worried that he had a problem.
Ernesto Valverde: "It's a difficult moment, but Saturday's game is important and in front of our own fans. We have to pick ourselves up and we hope everyone can help us" #LeganésBarça pic.twitter.com/9Ntitxjc5k
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 26, 2018
"This is football and it can happen. Sometimes it's difficult to explain the things that happen in a game.
"We controlled the game but it only took a minute for them to hurt us."
Pique was at fault for Leganes' second, the Spain defender stabbing the ball into the path of Rodriguez, who steered home for his first goal for the club.
Barca team-mate Sergio Busquets refused to single him out for criticism, though, insisting that they need to take responsibility collectively.
"We are a team," he said. "We win and we lose together.
"We have to make an assessment as a team. Eleven of us have played and we have all lost."