Sep 23, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Montilivi, Girona
Attendance: 13,305
GironaGirona
0-3
Barcelona

Maffeo (23'), Benitez (41'), Kayode (83')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Benitez (17' og.), Iraizoz (48' og.), Suarez (69')

Ernesto Valverde: 'Lionel Messi man-marking effort helped Barcelona'

Ernesto Valverde believes that Pablo Maffeo's man-marking of Lionel Messi in Barcelona's 3-0 win over Girona helped the rest of the Blaugrana team out.

Ernesto Valverde has claimed that Girona's man-marking of Lionel Messi in Barcelona's 3-0 win at the Estadi Montilivi helped the rest of the team.

Pablo Maffeo, on loan from Manchester City, stifled Messi in an impressive man-marking effort, stopping the 30-year-old from adding to his nine league goals of the campaign.

However, the Blaugrana still emerged triumphant, with Luis Suarez's strike and own goals from Francisco Aday and Gorka Iraizoz giving the visitors their sixth consecutive league win of the new season.

"The man-marking was clear and we had to find the place where to put Messi to move that player (Maffeo) and to get the most out of the situation," Valverde told reporters after the game.

"You have to take advantage of the situation. We tried to get the better of them by playing in the space and taking advantage of Leo's movement.

"I think Messi was fine. It's true that when you're man-marked it can be uncomfortable, but it also has advantages, not for him, but for the team. I think he was relaxed about it all.

"It was a difficult game because it was a derby, because of the atmosphere and the tension, but I think we managed it well. Maybe we struggled to finish the game off, but we've got the win."

Up next for Barca is a Champions League trip to the Estadio Jose Alvalade on Wednesday night to face Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon.

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Athletic Bilbao's coach Ernesto Valverde looks on during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Athletic Club Bilbao at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on April 20, 2014
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona24195062115162
2Atletico MadridAtletico2416713692755
3Real Madrid24146458273148
4Valencia24144647281946
5Sevilla2412393135-439
6Villarreal2411583529638
7EibarEibar2410593236-435
8GironaGirona249783430434
9Getafe248972921833
10Real Betis24103114150-933
11Celta Vigo2495104137432
12Real Sociedad2485114645129
13Leganes2485112128-729
14Athletic Bilbao2461082427-328
15AlavesAlaves2491142233-1128
16Espanyol2561092232-1028
17Levante24311102138-1720
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo2546152453-2918
19Las PalmasLas Palmas2453161852-3418
20Malaga2434171538-2313
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