Ernesto Valverde
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 20: Ernesto Valverde, Manager of FC Barcelona(C) looks on as Lionel Messi of Barcelona(2L) is substituted through injury during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at Camp Nou on October 20, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has heaped praises on youngster Carles Alena following his goalscoring appearance against Villarreal.

The LaLiga champions defeated the Yellow Submarines 2-0 at the Camp Nou on Sunday to move top of the Spanish league table.

The Barcelona B midfielder scored with a lovely lobbed finish after being put in on goal by Messi’s through-ball to seal all three points for the home side, after Gerard Pique had given the Catalan club in the first half.

“It is a reward for Alena because he’s a player that’s always (training) with us. He’s earned the jump from the second team to the first team,” said Valverde, according to BT Sport.

Meanwhile, Villarreal manager Javi Calleja praised youngster Samuel Chukwuez, saying the Nigerian acquitted himself well at the Nou Camp and praised his performance.

“Samu had a great match. He is growing. He is a more and more important player. He is young and confident, he’ll end up learning a lot,” said Calleja at the post-match press conference.