Luis Suarez has discussed Barcelona’s slender first-leg Copa del Rey lead over Valencia, saying his side ‘have a slight advantage’.
Barcelona had 79% possession in a first half where despite their dominance of the ball they were unable to trouble Jaume Domenech in the Valencia goal. The visitors themselves struggled to even get out of their own half but defended strongly.
Andreas Pereira and Sergi Roberto both picked up bookings in the first half with many people believing both could have seen red. Pereira for persistent fouling was eventually booked when he caught Lionel Messi late but it was Roberto who could be seen as lucky to stay on the pitch.
His high studs caught Pereira on the thigh leaving the Los Che wideman in pain but Roberto escaped with a booking.
The second half in truth wasn’t much better but eventually there would be a breakthrough, Lionel Messi drew the defenders away before dinking the ball up to the back post where Suarez nodded home to calm down the majority of the 50,000 fans inside a half empty Camp Nou.
“It’s only a slight advantage, 1-0 isn’t much, but we’ll take the fact they didn’t score,” he told Telecinco.
“They didn’t pose us many problems, they showed us respect and that benefitted us, even if the tie is still open.
“Despite us having several chances, they tried to sit back. When they do that, there are only a few spaces left for us in behind.
“However, in the second half, we tried to get a bigger advantage. The second leg? We must approach it properly.
“They’ll press us a lot and we can’t be asleep. We have to be focused. My scoring run? It’s helping the team, which is the most important thing. Now we must keep going like this.”
The second leg takes place a week today at the Mestalla with one team heading for April’s final at the Wanda Metropolitano against either Sevilla or Leganes who drew 1-1 in their first leg last night.