Valverde: Losing Dembele is a major blow

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde reckons Ousmane Dembele’s injury is a major blow to his team ahead of their trip to Anfield.

 

Valverde rested a lot of key players with Liverpool’s clash in mind – which saw his team slump to a 2-0 defeat to Celta Vigo at Balaidos.

The French forward injured himself sprinting in the first minute but remained on the pitch for four more minutes before being substituted.

And the former Athletic Bilbao boss confirmed the injury will effectively rule him out of the upcoming fixtures.

“It seems that it is a muscular injury he received, we’re going to wait until Sunday to assess it,” he said via Marca.

“He is an important player for us and it is a major blow with the big games we have coming up.

“I didn’t replace him with Philippe Coutinho as I didn’t want to run any more risks.”

Defender Jean-Clair Todibo was substituted in the second half of the game with a knock as well.

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“His injury isn’t clear yet, we’re going to assess it and perhaps it’s only a slight knock,” Valverde stated. The 55-year-old coach spoke after the game about the 90 minutes as a whole.

“We dominated the match at moments,” he said.

“Their first goal came and it gave them the option to go on and win the game.”We had no answer.

“We played with a lot of new faces and in the second half we were unable to generate what we needed to score.”

Barca travel to Liverpool next, for the return leg of the Champions League semi-final with a healthy three-goal lead.

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