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Ernesto Valverde hailed ‘great player’ Ousmane Dembele

Ernesto Valverde hailed ‘great player’ Ousmane Dembele

Ernesto Valverde hailed ‘great player’ Ousmane Dembele after his equaliser against Atletico Madrid, revealing Barcelona ‘expect lots more from him’.

“It was a normal result,” the Coach said after his side’s 1-1 draw on Saturday.

“They sat very deep and we dominated possession, but Atletico defend so well that it’s difficult to find space against them. You have to be patient.

“Still, we controlled the game quite well. We didn’t have any problems, although they scored from a corner.

“We had all the control, but their goal forced us to draw against the run of play. We lacked that one final spark and ultimately we had to settle for the draw,

“Our idea was to dominate the game and play near their box, but they’re experts at sitting back, hitting you on the counterattack and taking advantage of space, so we had to get that under control.

“We didn’t attack the way we wanted to because Atletico defended well. I don’t know who our biggest rivals are, but Atletico are our rivals for La Liga, the Copa del Rey and Champions League.

“Dembele is a great player. He has a lot of things, including goals. A team must have specialists for everything.

“Our wingers must take risks, play with enthusiasm and show a willingness to defend. Dembele has confidence, plays with both feet and gives security.

“There are times when he’s on everyone’s lips, but we hope he can give us many things.

“Whether he has more minutes or not depends on him and what he shows in training.

“It’s true that he wasn’t called up to our last game, but we have to help him succeed. He did that today and we expect lots more from him because he’s a very talented player.”

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