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Missing Messi and Suarez not an excuse for Busquets

SoccerNews in La Liga 19 Nov 2016

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Sergio Busquets says Barcelona cannot blame their 0-0 draw with nine-man Malaga on the absence of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

The champions were thwarted by a lack of cutting edge up front and a brilliant performance from visiting goalkeeper Carlos Kameni as they handed a boost to leaders Real Madrid in LaLiga’s title race.

Barca’s attack was noticeably blunted without Messi, who withdrew from the squad shortly before kick-off due to an illness, and the suspended Suarez.

Busquets, however, feels it was a matter of luck deserting his side as they dropped points at Camp Nou for the third time this season.

“Messi and Suarez are two of the best and you always miss them, but it’s not an excuse. We tried a thousand times and we couldn’t score,” he told BeIn Sports.

“We wanted to get all three points. They sat back and it was really difficult to beat them.

“We put a few more crosses into the box in the second half but we’re missing a bit of luck at the moment. They wanted to defend, that was their game-plan and we couldn’t find a way through.

“We knew they would play with five in defence but they played with everyone behind the ball. We knew they would and we know these kind of games are difficult. We scored goals that were disallowed and we missed out on the points.”

Kameni produced a number of fine saves, particularly against Rafinha and Neymar, to ensure a point for Malaga despite the second-half red cards for Diego Llorente and Juankar.

The 32-year-old keeper admitted he feared the worst when Llorente was sent off with 22 minutes left, but he was delighted with the commitment of his side.

“It’s very difficult to keep a clean sheet here. It’s not just a physical game, it’s very tactical and that’s very tiring,” he said.

“Of course when we went down to 10, I thought we would probably lose. It’s hard enough to play with 11. But we had to play with that extra bit of effort.”

Kameni, who needed treatment after injuring his leg in the closing stages, added: “I hope that it’s nothing bad, I don’t think it is. But I’m just going to enjoy the result.”

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