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Valverde explains why he went for Andre Gomes over Andres Iniesta against Real Sociedad

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Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde raised a few eyebrows with his team selection on Sunday as he left Andres Iniesta on the bench and went for Andre Gomes instead.

It was an odd choice from the Barcelona coach, particularly given his side’s recent record at the Estadio Anoeta.

Barca went on to win the game 4-2, with Iniesta not even summoned off the bench, and after the match Valverde spoke about his team selection.

“We have a lot of games now. This was also a game with some special circumstances, such as the wet pitch, the time between the last game,” he said.

“I thought that it would be better to go with Andre Gomes, because La Real have a powerful right side.

“Andres is fine, he has a little problem, but he’s fine and I preferred that he didn’t play.”

Source | Sport

Sociedad did cause problems down Barcelona’s left side with Xabi Prieto crossing for Willian Jose to score the first before Sergio Canales set up Juanmi to make it 2-0.

Opta also came up with this stat about Gomes’ performance which might surprise a few people:

Of course Barca then came roaring back to win it 4-2, which will deflect from Valverde’s selection, but Gomes certainly did very little to justify his manager’s faith.