Feb 17, 2018 at 3.15pm UK at ​Estadio Municipal de Ipurúa (Eibar)
Attendance: 6,760
EibarEibar
0-2
Barcelona

Orellana (58'), Diop (66')
Orellana (66')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Suarez (16'), Alba (88')
Iniesta (48')

Ernesto Valverde: 'Leaving out Philippe Coutinho right choice'

Valverde: 'Leaving out Coutinho right choice'
© Offside
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde insists that starting with Andres Iniesta over Philippe Coutinho against Eibar "was the best thing for the team".

Ernesto Valverde has defended his decision to bench Philippe Coutinho for Barcelona's meeting with Eibar, insisting that "it was the best thing for the team".

The Brazilian playmaker, who arrived at Camp Nou from Liverpool in a £142m deal last month, was surprisingly left out for the league leaders' trip to the Estadio Ipurua.

Coutinho is ineligible to face Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday night and was therefore expected to get the nod over Andres Iniesta, but he instead had to make do with a cameo appearance from the bench.

Asked about his decision after the match, Valverde simply told reporters: "I thought it was the best thing for the team."

Barca edged Eibar out 2-0 to return to winning ways in La Liga and move 10 points clear at the summit.

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Ernesto Valverde pictured in 2016
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Valverde: "Eibar pushed us very hard"
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBarcelona38289199297093
2Atletico MadridAtletico382310558223679
3Real Madrid382210694445076
4Valencia38227965382773
5Villarreal38187135750761
6Real Betis38186146061-160
7Sevilla38177144958-958
8Getafe381510134233955
9EibarEibar38149154450-651
10GironaGirona38149155059-951
11Espanyol381213133642-649
12Real Sociedad38147176659749
13Celta Vigo381310155960-149
14AlavesAlaves38152214050-1047
15Levante381113144458-1446
16Athletic Bilbao381013154149-843
17Leganes38127193451-1743
RDeportivo La CorunaDeportivo38611213876-3829
RLas PalmasLas Palmas3857262474-5022
RMalaga3855282461-3720

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