Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde, has defended his decision to rest Lionel Messi for
their 5-4 defeat at Levante, which ended his side’s chance to become the first LaLiga team to finish a season unbeaten in the modern era.
Messi was left at home to rest, while Barca’s record-breaking 43-game unbeaten streak in the league was shattered.
“We’ve played games without Messi before and come through them,” Valverde said at his news conference.
“We’re all annoyed to lose. It’s come in the 37th game, so it hurts to lose [the unbeaten season] now, but it could have come in the first, third or 14th game.”
Malaga had been the last side to beat Barca in Spain’s top flight on April 8, 2017.
However, a hat trick from Emmanuel Boateng and two stunning strikes from Enis Bardhi saw Valverde’s men lose at the Ciutat de Valencia on Sunday.
“I feel very angry but I have to look forward because what makes me angry isn’t going to give me solutions.
“It was a surprising game, because of the result and how it came about. [Levante] are in very good form, they are very effective, they started the game really well and caused us a lot of damage on the counter-attack,” Valverde added