Busquets Slams Barcelona
By Joshua Walters
Sergio Busquets has slammed Barcelona's attitude in Thursday night's Copa Del Rey defeat to Levante despite maintaining that the tie is still open.
Barcelona were hit with a setback in their round-of-16 first leg tie on Thursday with early goals from Erick Cabaco and Borja Mayoral as the Catalans looked a pale of their own selves.
The LaLiga leaders did improve after half time with Philippe Coutinho's late penalty giving them some hope of progressing to the quarter-finals when they host Levante at Camp Nou next week in the second leg.
"The tie is open after Coutinho's goal," Busquets told reporters after the 2-1 loss. "The team deserved that, above all, for the way, we played in the second half. In the first half, we came out asleep and they were able to take advantage of that, putting us on the ropes with two goals.
"They dropped their intensity after that, though. They had [Jose Luis] Morales' chance [to make it 3-0], but I think in general we were better and deserved -- at the very least -- our goal. We had chances."
Busquets captained an inexperienced Barca side on the night, with Messi, Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba not even making the trip to the Ciudad de Valencia stadium.
Coach Ernesto Valverde made particularly daring changes in defence, with new signing Jeison Murillo making his debut alongside team B players Juan Miranda and Chumi.
"When it came to picking the side, I thought that was the best team we could pick for the game," Valverde said in a news conference when asked if he regretted his team selection.
"The game also served to check out some players in a La Liga-level game. It's a risk, maybe, but these are the risks we take."