Valverde reacts to end of Barcelona unbeaten run

La Liga By: Iseghohi Odianosen | 14/05/2018

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has reacted to the first defeat against the Blaugrana in La Liga this season after Levante secured a 5-4 victory over the La Liga Champions on Sunday evening.

Valverde blames Barcelona defence for the result, Barcelona has not conceded three goals this season but were caught open against the Valencia-based team that saw them conceded five goals and Levante attacker Emmanuel Boateng scoring the first hat-trick of his career.

"We haven't been solid, every time they attacked they scored," he explained in his post-match press conference.

"It's not normal for us to concede five goals.

"Levante have played well with freedom and we haven't been able to control them.

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"We went to sleep, thinking we could automatically lift our performance in the second half."

Valverde opted to start Thomas Vermaelen and Yerry Mina but the pair was unable to get the balance at the back.

"Vermaelen suffered a muscle injury, he intimated.

"When you look at the score, you assume Yerry Mina had a bad day.

"Yerry Mina showed personality at certain moments of the match and I haven't seen him make a mistake, you have to take into account how good our opponent was."

The hosts' second goal was controversial because it came at a time when the Blaugrana only had 10 men on the pitch, although the former Athletic Club coach didn't wish to dwell on the issue.

"Pique had to warm up for at least two minutes and the ball didn't go out whilst we had 10 players," he confirmed.

"It's true that this left us unbalanced, we tried to press high with one player less and were caught out.

"These are things you can't predict.

"I substituted Vermaelen because I didn't want him to be at even further risk." He told Marca.

The La Liga Champions will host Real Sociedad in their final La Liga game of the season.