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Valverde: We can’t blame Barcelona’s poor performance on Messi

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Lionel Messi returned to action for Barcelona on Tuesday night at Borussia Dortmund, and despite not having the desire impact on the game, Ernesto Valverde is relatively pleased with his No.10.

Messi came on for 30 minutes in the second half, which was his first action since falling injured on August 5.

“He’s like any player who hasn’t had a pre-season,” Valverde said.

“He’s had to play in a game at an incredible pace, which had already started, all without preparation.

“It’s his first 30 minutes. He’s done enough. It was also the first full game for Luis Suarez.”

Marc-Andre ter Stegen was at his very best on the night, stopping a Marco Reuspenalty excellently.

“In LaLiga [Santander] we were saying that opponents score against us,” Valverde noted.

“But tonight, he was very good. We have a great goalkeeper and we benefit from that.”

Barcelona struggled and were lucky to leave Germany with a point, which Valverde admits.

“The result is what it is,” he explained.

“We suffered a lot and have to recognise that.

“It’s something we knew would happen. It was a complicated game.”

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