Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde spoke to the press after his side’s 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad in Anoeta preserved the champions’ perfect start to the season.
“It was a very good three points,” Valverde said after watching his side recover from a 1-0 deficit and whether a second-half storm to record a fourth consecutive Liga victory. “We were made to work for it and it was a difficult game. We had to find another gear and take some risks. We were punished on the break but we also pressed and they had periods when they had to hold on. It worked out for us in the end.”
Valverde reserved words of praise for keeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, who made two good stops at 1-0 down during a passage of play when the hosts were breaking forward at will. “He made good interventions and as was the case with everybody he did his job well. We know how hard it is to win in this stadium, as we saw last season. The game reminded of Getafe last season”
Valverde: "I take criticism well because I don’t read the papers"
The Barça boss also offered his opinion on the new refurbished Anoeta, which now has the fans much closer to the action than before. “The home support push their side on and we felt that pressure. It’s a beautiful stadium. If it was difficult to play here before, now it is even more so.”
However, Valverde added that he wasn’t entirely easy with the manner of his side’s victory. “I’m not very worried, just a little bit, and there are things we have to improve on. They were playing deep towards the end of the game and generating clear opportunities to break. We weren’t taking our chances and we lost control of the game and handed them the initiative. La Real are good on the break and they have a very good side. It’s not easy to win here and we need to take more risks. I’m not too concerned but we will work to iron out the mistakes.”
Asked whether he was worried about potential criticism of his side after the game, Valverde smiled. “I take criticism well because I don’t read the papers.”