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Roura accepts Valencia draw

Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura says a draw was a fair result after seeing his team held 1-1 at Valencia on Sunday.

Ever Banega put the hosts ahead at the Mestalla before Lionel Messi scored in his 12th La Liga game in succession, this time from the penalty spot, to make it 1-1.

Roura believes Barca lacked freshness after their Copa del Rey semi-final with Real Madrid on Wednesday.

He told reporters after the match: “There is no doubt that we come into this after a very tough match in Madrid.

“Our showing in the first half cost us, and Valencia had a great intensity in the second, playing higher up the pitch, from a physical standpoint.

“As always, we came with the intention of winning, but what happened was we found it difficult at the Mestalla and, in the end, a draw is fair enough.

“We lacked intensity in the first half. We lacked depth in the second half; we had three or four very clear chances. Overall, we did not have the freshness of other games, but it’s understandable.”

Tito Vilanova’s assistant also heralded goalkeeper Victor Valdes for his display on the night, with the Camp Nou shot-stopper having received a lot of criticism since making his decision not to sign a new contract.

Roura said: “We are delighted with Victor, we have always said he is the best goalkeeper we can have.

“Today he played at a very high level, and we will continue helping and assisting in any way we can while he is still with us.”

Mon 4 February, 2013
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