Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has admitted to Spanish outlet Marca that the loss of Ousmane Dembélé to an early hamstring injury in their 2-0 defeat to Celta Vigo will be a “major blow with the big games we have coming up.”
Playing on the same day that we battled to a hard-won victory against Newcastle, Barça opted to rest some of their key players with the La Liga title already wrapped up and the second leg coming up.
Of course, we had our own high-profle injury after Mohamed Salah sustained a head injury that saw him stretchered off the pitch. Time will tell if he is declared fit enough to feature on Tuesday.
21-year-old forward, Dembélé, who missed a late sitter in the first leg of our Champions League meeting, could only manage less than ten minutes before being forced off with a hamstring injury.
Valverde was also quoted as saying of the Frenchman: “I didn’t replace him with Philippe Coutinho as I didn’t want to run any more risks.”
Coutinho could be set for a first playing return to Anfield on Tuesday night as we seek to overturn the tie in what needs to be another classic European night under the lights.
— 💸 (@ludi21veka) May 4, 2019
Speaking of former Reds, it was Iago Aspas who despatched a late penalty to ensure Vigo inflicted Barça’s first defeat in the league since December.
In defeat, Valverde could only concede that: “We dominated the match at moments. Their first goal came and it gave them the option to go on and win the game. We had no answer.”
Despite the restoration of their main men, we’ll all be hoping that the Catalan side struggle to find the answers to the burning questions we need to ask them.