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Barcelona's Ernesto Valverde keeping faith in Luis Suarez despite misses

Barcelona's Ernesto Valverde keeping faith in Luis Suarez despite misses
From ESPN - October 21, 2017

BARCELONA -- Ernesto Valverde insists Luis Suarez remains "priceless" to Barcelona despite the Uruguayan scoring just three goals in 11 appearances this season.

Suarez's late equaliser at Atletico Madrid last weekend looked to have kick-started his campaign, but he missed two big chances in Saturday's 2-0 win against Malaga and was replaced late on by Paco Alcacer.

As well as concerns about his form, Suarez is also struggling with a knee injury and has been since the Spanish Super Cup. In a bid to sort the problem out once and for all, he will take a break from football during the next international break.

"[Suarez] looks good to me," Barca coach Valverde said in his postgame news conference. "It's the third game he has played in six days. He had a great game against Atletico and he was tireless against Olympiakos, but he always gets chances.

"That aggressiveness he plays with guarantees he will always be in there. The more chances he misses, the better, because [it means] he's there. He is priceless for us."

Suarez was still given a rousing reception by the Camp Nou crowd when he was taken off but he cut a frustrated figure as he made his way towards the bench, throwing his sweatbands to the ground in disappointment.

"Suarez is ambitious and no one likes to be taken off," Valverde responded when asked if the forward's reaction was unnecessary. "Everyone wants to play, everyone wants to start... I do not see any problem."

Barca's goals against Malaga came from Gerard Deulofeu -- his first for the club -- and Andres Iniesta, although the opener came in controversial fashion.

The ball had already gone out of play when Lucas Digne crossed for Deulofeu in the second minute, leading to angry protestations from the visiting players.

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