Valverde praises Messi display in Barcelona win against alaves

Valverde praises Messi display in Barcelona win against alaves

The Argentine superstar may not have been at his vintage best, but he continues to influence games and set new records in the process.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde paid tribute to Lionel Messi for his innate ability to make a decisive impact following a wonderful goal in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Deportivo Alaves.

Other than having an early goal disallowed, Messi had been unusually subdued by his standards at Camp Nou.

Although Barca went into half-time 2-0 up, Alaves scored early in the second period through midfielder Pere Pons and grew in confidence, until Messi struck his 50th goal for club and country this year with 21 minutes remaining.

Other than having an early goal disallowed, Messi had been unusually subdued by his standards at Camp Nou.

Although Barca went into half-time 2-0 up, Alaves scored early in the second period through midfielder Pere Pons and grew in confidence, until Messi struck his 50th goal for club and country this year with 21 minutes remaining.

It means the 32-year-old has now scored at least 50 goals club and country in nine of the last 10 calendar years.

With their two-goal lead restored Barca cruised from there, with Luis Suarez – who set up the first three goals – adding a late fourth from the penalty spot.

Despite Suarez arguably being the star of the show, Valverde focused on Messi after the match, singling out the Argentine’s impact when Barca were appearing to lose some of their control at the start of the second period.

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