Ernesto Valverde thinks Riqui Puig is one of those blokes who want to be in the thick of things. When he is on the pitch, he is always looking for the possession of the ball and not looking to remain away from the action. He wants to be at the hotspot and that’s a great quality for somebody who is as young as him.
Puig is only in his teens at this stage and he got to feature for the first team of Barcelona yesterday and that too at home. He was used as a substitute in the second half of the game against Cultural Leonesa. The hosts were 3-1 up already when Puig entered the pitch and the youngster put cherry on top of the cake by assisting another goal for the team a few minutes after his entry. The victory saw Barcelona advancing through to the pre quarter finals of Copa del Rey.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has indicated the wrong decision was made after the referee used the VAR to send off Clement Lenglet against Girona. Barca had dominated the initial proceedings in the Catalan derby as they took an early lead but they soon found themselves a man down with Lenglet sent off after a VAR decision.
Thereafter, former Middlesbrough ace Christian Stuani scored in either half to pull Girona into the lead but Barca managed to salvage a point with Gerard Pique finding the equaliser following the hour mark. Speaking after the game, Valverde was surprised by the decision of the referee and highlighted that the opposition player apologised for the incident, he said: “It handicapped us, we had bad luck to concede just before the end of the first half. We couldn’t come back. I haven’t seen the incident on the television, there’s a clear collision and it seems that there’s an elbow. It’s the first sending off where the player fouled apologises.”