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Bartomeu says Ernesto Valverde is not to blame for Barcelona’s Copa del Rey defeat

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The holders were beaten 2-1 by Valencia in Seville

Barcelona v Valencia - Spanish Copa del Rey Final Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu refused to blame manager Ernesto Valverde for Saturday’s Copa del Rey defeat to Valencia.

The holders relinquished their grasp on the trophy after four seasons, going down 2-1 at the Benito Villamarín Stadium.

The defeat will increase the pressure on Valverde but Bartomeu backed him after the match.

“We’ve been thinking about next season for some time, but this isn’t the moment to explain what will happen,” he said.

”We won the league, so it has been an important season. Valverde has a contract and is the coach.

”This defeat was not the fault of our coach. We had many chances and the ball didn’t go in.”

Source | Marca

Valverde has received backing from Bartomeu, Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique in recent days, but it’s still difficult to see how he can survive at Barcelona after another damaging defeat.