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Sources: Barca under pressure to sell players



2019/2020 Season

1 Barcelona 18 4 5 58
2 Real Madrid 16 8 3 56
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Barcelona's Ernesto Valverde: Luis Suarez's drought 'doesn't worry me'

Ernesto Valverde says he's not worried about Luis Suarez's drought in front of goal in the Champions League after Barcelona were held to a goalless draw in Lyon on Tuesday.

Barca racked up 25 shots at the Grouprama stadium with Suarez among those guilty of wasting chances. The Uruguayan has yet to find the net in five European games this season.

More alarmingly, he's scored just once in his last 17 Champions League appearances and is without an away goal in the tournament since 2015 -- a run which has now moved beyond the 25-hour mark.

And despite registering 16 goals in total this season, he's failed to score in his last five matches in all competitions and has netted just twice in his previous 10 games.

"It doesn't worry me," Barca coach Valverde said in a news conference after the draw in Lyon. "It would worry me if he wasn't getting chances, which is what you ask for from a centre-forward.

"And [even] if he doesn't have chances, he creates them for his teammates. Opponents are frightened of him. He [must] be reserving himself... Football is a game of margins. Strikers have runs [of goals] and the best thing is he's getting chances."

Suarez wasn't the only player guilty of erring in front of goal in France. Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele and Ivan Rakitic all missed chances as Barca's run without an away win in a Champions League knockout game extended to six games.

Their last win on the road beyond the group stage was against Arsenal in 2016. They have since failed to beat Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Chelsea, Roma and now Lyon.

Tuesday's failure to score could come back to haunt Barca in the second leg at Camp Nou on March 13. A score draw would send Lyon through.

Valverde was happy with his team's performance but said he was frustrated to see so many missed opportunities. He also admitted that the stalemate leaves the La Liga leaders in a "dangerous" position going into the return game of the last 16 tie.

"If I see my team miss a lot of chances, it annoys me," the coach added. "But, despite being annoyed, I am relaxed. What I don't like is if we don't have any chances.

"We can't deny that we expected another result given how we played. It's a dangerous [scoreline] because we know that a goal away from home has more value, but we're a strong team at Camp Nou. The tie's in the air, everything will be decided in front of our fans."


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