LaLiga: Barcelona calm despite defeat to Espanyol

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Ernesto Valverde
Barcelona Coach Ernesto Valverde

Despite falling to a first defeat of the season, Barcelona’s squad are not concerned by the result in the Copa del Rey first leg against Espanyol.

In the changing room, the team knew that Lionel Messi could have all but ended the tie with his penalty, and yet it was their rivals who took advantage of the few chances they had.

Ernesto Valverde is keen to show that it is business as usual despite the defeat, particularly given the fact that it may not have any meaning if Barcelona can mount a second leg comeback in their own stadium.

Now, the main concern for the coach is recovering some of his key men, such as Andres Iniesta who has missed the last two games with a muscle strain.

Samuel Umtiti and Paco Alcacer are also close to returns whilst Paulinho is in contention for the game against Real Betis on Sunday despite limping off against Espanyol.