La Liga News 

Valverde and Ter Stegen blast ‘awful’ Getafe pitch

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde and keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen have blasted Getafe for the state of their pitch after the 2-1 win on Saturday afternoon.

Heading into the Saturday afternoon La Liga game, Ernesto Valverde’s side had won three out of three games in comfortable fashion but they were made to work by Madrid based side Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

And, Valverde has opened up about his side’s early troubles against the Madrid based side, saying: “We found it very difficult. It was a very difficult game at a very complicated stadium.

“Our opponents were very tight, aggressive and played with confidence, while the pitch was very dry.

“This match was a test for us, given they also put themselves ahead on the scoreboard and we had to stage a comeback. That means a lot to us.”

Former Tottenham Hotspur and Guangzhou Evergrande midfielder Paulinho saved the Catalan’s bluses with a late strike, coming on as a late substitute for Ivan Rakitic.

Getafe had taken the lead through a superb strike from Gaku Shibasaki, who hit a stunning half volley into the roof of the net.

A first half to forget for Barca also saw new signing Ousmane Dembele hobble off with a hamstring injury and tests are expected on Sunday morning to determine the extent of the problem for the Frenchman.

His replacement Gerard Deulofeu had a hand in Barca’s equaliser, winning the ball back on the edge of the area, before finding Sergi Roberto, who played in Denis Suarez to score a superb goal.

Lionel Messi was at his ever best and he almost made it 3-1 late on, whilst soft penalty calls from the home side came after Samuel Umtiti produced a superb late challenge to deny them a share of the spoils.

Following the game, Barca keeper Ter Stegen also commented on the performance and blamed the pitch for not allowing his side to get into their usual style.

“It was frustrating as our first concern was having to play against the pitch, which was awful,” Ter Stegen is quoted by Marca.

“This needs to be said and also says a lot that this is the only way teams think they can disrupt us and get at us…this is a pitch you could not play good football on.

“The grass had not been cut properly and was long, meaning this victory is even more valuable for us.”

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