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Barca Coach Valverde: Why I Dropped Coutinho For Eibar Game

Barca Coach Valverde: Why I Dropped Coutinho For Eibar Game

Barcelona cruised to a La Liga 2-0 victory over Eibar on Saturday but coach Ernesto Valverde was left answering questions as to why midfielder Philippe Coutinho was dropped from the game considering he was ineligible for the Champions League Round of 16 cracker against Chelsea on Tuesday.

Coutinho – a €160million signing last month – started the goalless draw against Getafe but made way for Andres Iniesta as goals from Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba saw Barca equal a club record of 31 games unbeaten in LaLiga.

Explaining his decision to drop Coutinho, Valverde told reporters: “I think it was best for my team to try to win.

“Last week Coutinho started, Iniesta didn’t, so this week Iniesta started.

“It’s true that on Tuesday we have another match but for me the most important thing was this match.

“On Tuesday, let’s see, I know Coutinho cannot play, but we will do something.”

After ending a run of back-to-back draws, Barca moved 10 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid, who are scheduled to host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

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