Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Ernesto Valverde Explains Lionel Messi’s Absence Against Inter Milan

Ernesto Valverde Explains Lionel Messi’s Absence Against Inter Milan

The result nevertheless meant Barcelona became the first side to secure qualification for the knockout.

Lionel Messi made the trip with Barcelona but is unlikely to play as he continues to recover from a fractured arm. The visitors still almost managed to win the match when substitute Malcom netted with seven minutes remaining, moments after coming off the bench.

Mauro Icardi was however given room to turn and shoot past Marc-Andre ter Stegen late in the game, to level scores. "We've talked to him and he's been clear".

Ousmane Dembele sent two Inter Milan players out of the San Siro last night and we're still not sure of their whereabouts. We would like to win, of course. "So I leave Milan happy".

"You do not know what can happen and we didn't want to take risks".

Inter plays Tottenham next.

Messi broke his arm during Barca's win over Sevilla on October 20, with the club estimating at the time he would be out for three weeks.

"It was a decision shared by the team".

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After a very tough start to life with the La Liga champions, clearly opening his account meant a whole lot to Malcom and he will be hoping it kickstarts his career with Barca. "What we won't do is take any risks".

"It seemed as though the match was going to finish 0-0".

The Uruguay forward went close on a number of occasions, and nearly gave Barcelona an early lead with an audacious flick that flew narrowly over the bar.

If Barcelona draws PSV next time out, they will clinch a spot in the round of 16. With what should be a fairly comfortable match at home to Real Betis this Sunday, it will be interesting to see whether Valverde finally gives Malcom a chance from the start.

"In tears, [Ronaldo] told me that he was sorry but his agents had a much better offer than ours and that it was better for all parties for him to go to another club to make much more money".

"We've always said we can play against anyone, and that still holds true". Barcelona have not lost in the last eight matches in all competitions.

"If it's Barcelona, they will have too pay €100 million and if I am them I would pay a €20m tip on top", Spalletti said after the game at the San Siro.

That is what Ernesto Valverde has said.

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