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Ernesto Valverde says Frenkie de Jong’s red card ‘did us a lot of damage’

The midfielder was sent off in the second half

RCD Espanyol v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Pablo Morano/MB Media/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde said Frenkie de Jong’s red card “did us a lot of damage” after Barcelona were held to a 2-2 draw at Espanyol.

The visitors started badly but went ahead through goals from Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal only to then go down to 10 men after De Jong picked up a second yellow card.

Espanyol took advantage of the extra man to equalise through Wu Lei, leaving Valverde frustrated after the final whistle.

“We have to fight in every match. We started badly, we managed to come back but unfortunately we went down to 10. They pressed and equalised.

”Frenkie’s dismissal did us a lot of damage. We were unable to score a third. This is football.

”It was a very competitive game, a derby with a lot of tension and emotion. If you’re winning and the opponent equalises, you leave with the impression of having lost two points.”

Source | Goal

The result is enough to keep Barcelona top of La Liga on goal difference as they now head to Saudi Arabia for the Spanish Super Cup. Barca’s first game is against Atletico Madrid on Thursday in Jeddah.

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