Barcelona yielded to a 1-0 defeat in their first Spanish La Liga fixture against Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames after a stunning overhead kick scored by the veteran Aritz Aduriz in the 89th minute. The 38-year-old striker produced an instant impression off the bench, meeting Ander Capa’s cross sensationally to seal all three points for the Basque side.
Barcelona boss, Ernesto Valverde who was the former coach of Athletic Bilbao heap praises on the Aduriz for a well-taken goal and claims he wasn’t surprised with the execution as he is conversant with the striker during his time at the club.
“With Aduriz, any ball in the air is a danger and he got his goal. That move is dominant, and he’s scored similar goals. When I saw him line it up… I wasn’t surprised with the execution at all, ” The Barcelona coach Valverde said.
It was another frustrating day for Barcelona’s new signing Antoine Griezmann as he continues to struggle in finding his feet at the club, and he played on the left and as the main striker on Friday. Valverde wasn’t happy with his performance and he claimed the Frenchman needs to come into games.
In his analysis, the former Athletic Bilbao boss claimed he wasn’t wrong to play him on the left even though he’s a left footer.
“Being on the left isn’t bad for left footers. If he’s near the area he can move well, but we have to dominate the game for that. He has to come into the play and needs to get into the game,” Valverde told reporters.
Barcelona got a piece of early bad news into the season after Lionel Messi was injured in training upon his return from holiday but that has been joined with another frustrating news as Luis Suarez was forced off with an injury in the first half and Valverde admitted to not knowing the length of his setback.
“He has a muscular problem and we have to wait for the tests,” he explained to reporters. “In the second half, when we were around Athletic’s area, we missed him.”
Barcelona will have the chance to make amends in their second league match as they host Real Betis at Camp Nou on August 25. While Athletic will be hoping to continue their early season momentum in an August 24 road trip to Getafe.
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