Valverde: Having Messi is always a great advantage in tight matches

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Ernesto Valverde know how important Lionel Messi is to his Barcelona team.

The Argentine came up with a late winner to beat Atletico Madrid and send the Blaugrana top of LaLiga Santander.

“When matches are tight and [your opponents] are strong, having Messi is always a great advantage,” Valverde told the press at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.

Messi‘s winner came after a pulsating match between two of Spain’s top teams and Valverde enjoyed watching it.

“I liked it all,” he said.

“You have to watch matches from your team’s point of view.

“We suffered at the start and we got the three points, we won’t think about the bad now.”

Marc-Andre ter Stegen played an integral part in the victory, making several key saves to deny Atletico a goal.

“There were two goalkeepers on the pitch who can perform miracles and they often make great saves,” Valverde said.

Gerard Pique was another important figure in the result before he was forced off late on with injury.

“I think he’s fine,” Valverde said of his defender’s fitness.

“He could’ve continued, but it was better not to risk it.”

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