Valverde excited by attacking trio following victory at Eibar

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde is excited for what the future holds after his attacking trident of Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez shone at Eibar.

Griezmann opened the scoring after 13 minutes as the Catalan club were put under severe pressure during the first half before the trio combined in the second period to seal a 3-0 victory.

Messi slotted home his second goal of the season just before the hour-mark to effectively seal the three points before the Argentina international unselfishly squared the ball for Suarez to tap into an empty net for his 184th Barcelona goal.

The Uruguay striker’s effort saw him move alongside Josep Samitier in fourth on the club’s all-time goalscoring list.

“It’s a question of time and of playing matches,” Valverde said at a post-match press conference reported by Marca.

“In the end, great players always find each other and know where their team-mates will be and know where the pass will go.

“They’ve participated and worked very hard. This is the reward. They scored a goal each, they understood each other well.

“The new players are finding their place and trying to understand each other. It’s a question of time before they understand each other better.”

Valverde was delighted to come away with the win, particularly as Eibar dominated the match until Griezmann’s opener against the run of play.

“When you come to this ground, you have to play here,” Valverde added. “Today, I thought we played really well. It’s a tough away ground because Eibar make you work really hard.

“They put a lot of pressure on you. You have to be very attentive to defend these crosses and counter very quickly.

“You have to make sure you look after the ball throughout, you have to organise yourself well against the danger and we have done that today and we got the result.”

Summer signing Frenkie De Jong dictated play throughout the match and even received a standing ovation from the Eibar supporters when he was replaced by Ivan Rakitic with 11 minutes remaining.

“He’s having a great start to the season,” Valverde said about the Holland international.

“We’ve seen that he gives us a lot for the strength that he has, as much in attack as in defence. This is why the crowd recognised him.”

Valverde’s position had come into question after a stuttering start to the campaign but opposite number and former team-mate Jose Luis Mendilibar defended the Barcelona head coach.

The Eibar boss said: “It’s not normal for them to lose twice early on when they usually lose just a couple of times over a whole season.

“They’re a great team and they have a great coach. Don’t doubt him at any point because he’s the best Barcelona have.”

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