Published: Mon, October 01, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Lionel Messi & Sergio Busquets benching best for Barcelona, claims Ernesto Valverde

Lionel Messi & Sergio Busquets benching best for Barcelona, claims Ernesto Valverde

The Argentinian hit the woodwork for the seventh time this season as Barca desperately chased an equaliser following their 2-1 defeat at lowly Leganes on Wednesday and 2-2 draw with Girona last weekend, eventually providing the cross for Munir El Haddadi's 84th-minute leveller.

Valverde admitted to reporters at his post-match press conference that while resting Messi was his "responsibility", he did so with one eye on the Champions League next week.

The coach said the pair needed some rest to cope with a crammed schedule, with Barca visiting Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League next week.

"We can't depend on Messi to enter the match and solve things for us", Suarez said. "I knew it was a risky decision".

Ahead through a Philippe Countinho goal, top of the table Barcelona looked in cruise control against bottom club Leganes who have just one point from their first five matches this season.

Busquets replaced the injured Sergi Roberto early in the second half.

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Far from their best in terms of quality of football, in the fluidity of their offensive play, the capacity to create chances and above all, in defensive solidity.

Barca continued to push for a second goal and were almost rewarded in the 16th minute when Lionel Messi rattled the crossbar with a strike from the edge of the box.

Andre Silva scored twice in the first 21 minutes - converting a Jesus Navas cross and then firing home a rebound after Navas' shot was saved.

"He is the best in the world but we can't rely on Leo to always sort everything out for us", Suarez said.

Argentina skipper Lionel Messi has reportedly advised his club FC Barcelona to make a move for Spanish youngster Oscar Rodriguez, who now plays for another La Liga side Leganes on loan from Catalan's arch-rivals Real Madrid, reports Spanish outlet, Don Balon.

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