Football

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde: We are under pressure after Slavia draw

Ernesto Valverde admitted Barcelona are in a rut after they followed up their defeat by Levante with a goalless draw at home to Slavia Prague yesterday morning (Singapore time) in the Champions League.

Skipper Lionel Messi hit the crossbar in the first half of the Group F encounter, but that was as close as Barca came.

"On Saturday, we lost 3-1 to Levante in La Liga and this was not one of our best games either," Valverde said.

"We haven't been convincing in both games and there is a lot of pressure now on the team. We have to respond."

Fans let their displeasure be known with angry boos and whistles that not even the blast of the stadium music could drown out.

"In football today and with teams like ours, it is all about winning and winning emphatically," said Valverde, whose side play Dortmund at home in three weeks.

"It is never enough. The season begins and there isn't talk of winning a title, there is talk of winning three or four. So the frustration is high when you don't win a game."

Added defender Gerard Pique: "I would ask for a little patience. We are not playing at the level we expect. We have to improve." - AFP

Football