MX23RW : Monday, September 24 21:54:59
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
1Barcelona54101651113
2Real Madrid5410123913
3AlavesAlaves531185310
4Celta Vigo522110828
5Atletico MadridAtletico52215418
6GironaGirona522178-18
7Sevilla521210647
8Espanyol52125417
9Real Sociedad52127707
10Getafe52124407
11EibarEibar521256-17
12Athletic Bilbao41307616
13Real Betis513135-26
14Villarreal512223-15
15Valencia504135-24
16Levante5113811-34
17Huesca5113613-74
18Real Valladolid503235-23
19Rayo Vallecano4103310-73
20Leganes5014410-61

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