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Quique Setien: Lionel Messi needs a rest ‘but the score was too tight’

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The captain played all 90 minutes again

Real Valladolid v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Quique Setien admitted after Barcelona’s 1-0 win over Real Valladolid that Lionel Messi needs a rest but said he didn’t take him off on Saturday because the “score was too tight.”

Messi has played every minute for Barcelona since La Liga resumed in June and notched his 20th assist of the season against Valladolid by teeing up Arturo Vidal

Setien was asked whether the captain needs a rest after the match and offered the following response.

“Of course. I’ve said it before, but the score was too tight. If we’d have scored more goals in the first half, maybe more players would’ve been rested,” he said.

“The team was tired. They had players up front with quality and committed men forward.

“We couldn’t cover the whole pitch. We had to drop back and that made it more difficult for us. We should’ve put the match to bed in the first half - we could’ve scored two or three goals.

“[There was] the anxiety of knowing that you’re only 1-0 up and that they can score at any moment. In the second half, we struggled. We noticed fatigue in some players to a point.”

Source | Marca

Arturo Vidal also admitted the heat had made it tough going for Barcelona in the second half at Valladolid.

The game came after an intense week that has seen Barca play three times and pick up maximum points against Villarreal, Espanyol and now Valladolid. They now have a bit of a breather and do not play again until Thursday when Osasuna visit the Camp Nou.