Eibar 0 – Barcelona 2
It was another winning weekend for Barcelona in La Liga.
The Catalans faced a tricky away match at Eibar, who started the weekend in seventh place in the top flight.
Many were wondering how Ernesto Valverde would set up his side for the Eibar game. That’s because Barcelona face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Rather than rotating his squad, however, Valverde picked a super strong XI at Eibar.
Luis Suarez gave the Catalans the lead in the 16th minute to settle any nerves.
While Jordi Alba scored a late second after Fabian Orellana was sent off for Eibar in the 66th.
‘Was buying Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool a mistake?’
In Sunday’s edition of Marca, columnist Luis Rojo has expressed his concerns about Philippe Coutinho.
Amongst all the tactical decisions Valverde made on Saturday, the choice of starting Andres Iniesta over Coutinho was perhaps the biggest.
Why did Barcelona chase Liverpool so hard for Coutinho if he doesn’t play in games like Eibar?
Of course, Coutinho is banned for playing for Barca in the UCL this season, so most were expecting him to start at the weekend. For Luis Rojo, something isn’t right:
Coutinho should have arrived to give Iniesta a break before the big European clashes. However, when the first big match comes at Stamford Bridge where Andres has to play, Valverde leaves Coutinho on the bench. How bad is the playmaker if he cannot do it at Ipurua?
Many will believe that the Marca op-ed is a little bit too hysterical. Especially as Coutinho played the final 30 minutes against Eibar as he replaced Iniesta.
However, the backlash against Coutinho is clearly something to keep an eye out for in future weeks.