Barcelona Fans Blame Ernesto Valverde For Injury To Key Player, Doubt For Chelsea Game
Barcelona fans are blaming manager Ernesto Valverde for the injury to a key player.
The runaway La Liga leaders entertained second place Atletico Madrid on Sunday, and the hosts bagged all-three points courtesy of a truly sublime free-kick from Lionel Messi - who else?!
The Catalans giants are now eight points clear of Atletico, and remain unbeaten in the league.
Barcelona will be eyeing up an incredible treble with the club booking their spot in the Copa del Rey final opposite Sevilla.
Not to mention harbouring ambitions of regaining the prestigious Champions League.
But Valverde has been dealt a potentially huge blow ahead of the final few months of this season.
While the severity is still to be confirmed, Andres Iniesta was forced off over the weekend with a hamstring injury and is now a doubt for the Champions League second-leg clash against Chelsea.
And the Camp Nou faithfuls immediately targeted Valverde.
Poor poor squad management from Valverde, losing Iniesta right before the most important stretch of the season is a huge blow
- Zak (@Samperology) March 4, 2018
Iniesta's hamstrings can't survive games every 3 days anymore. Valverde should've been more careful in managing his minutes. Very important especially for a club who competes on all fronts like Barça. #AnimsIniesta
- Fiaz Hamzath (@fiazhamzath) March 4, 2018
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Iniesta's injury is on Valverde. He overplayed him.
- U̷L̷T̷R̷A̷ ̷R̷E̷S̷E̷A̷R̷C̷H̷ ̷G̷R̷O̷U̷P̷ (@UltraAutistic) March 4, 2018
Should Iniesta miss the match against Chelsea I might not even watch it. Even more frustrating that Valverde will choose between Gomes, Paulinho and Vidal for the spot of the 11th player.
- sj (@sun2jay) March 4, 2018
Valverde risking Iniesta all these while has backfired.
- Seyi (@TenShadesDarker) March 4, 2018
Awful second half. Thanks to DIOS, we are through and have a massive 8 point lead. Coutinho is cup-tied so Dembele will play surely against Chelsea. Iniesta very unlikely, huge miscalculation by Valverde by risking him for back to back games.
- Sempre (@semprebarcaa) March 4, 2018
If losing Iniesta, and most likely Pique, costs us the game against Chelsea, I'll never forgive Valverde..
- Sara (@SaraHegazi_) March 4, 2018
Meanwhile, Valverde has provided an update on the 33-year-old midfielder.
"Iniesta is a unique player, a little like Messi, so it's difficult to find a player who can replace him," he said via ESPN.
"He is unique in the world in terms of the characteristics he has. We will have to see the extent of the injury. He carried on playing at first so we thought it wasn't too bad, but we're not sure. He was playing incredibly.
With January signing Philippe Coutinho cup-tied in Europe, Barcelona will be praying Iniesta is fit for the return leg.
(H/T 101 Great Goals)