Ernesto Valverde

Ernesto Valverde admitted Barcelona’s defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League left a bad taste in Lionel Messi’s mouth, but he felt the Blaugrana’s 2-0 win over Getafe on Sunday helped his players “get rid of the ghosts in our heads”.

Arturo Vidal scored in the first half and Messi had a hand in Barcelona’s second goal as Mauro Arambarri put through his own net in the 89th minute to extend the champions’ lead at the top of LaLiga with one game left to play this season.

Valverde admitted that bouncing back from a 4-0 defeat at Anfield, which resulted in a 4-3 aggregate semi-final defeat to Liverpool, would take time but backed his players to return to form in time for the Copa del Rey final against Valencia on May 25.

“For us, a victory was essential to get rid of the ghosts in our heads,” Valverde told reporters after the win over Getafe.

“Everyone will bounce back, although at the beginning it’s hard. We have the Copa del Rey final in mind.

“Messi is making an effort to overcome the bad taste in his mouth. We all had high hopes to be in the Champions League final and we have to move forward.”

Valverde substituted Philippe Coutinho 20 minutes from time during one of his better recent performances for the club, and it was later revealed the midfielder would likely be out for up to 10 days with a hamstring injury.

The Brazil international was subjected to whistles from Barcelona supporters following his poor display in midweek, but Valverde said the receptions he has received at Camp Nou have not all been negative.

“I did not speak with Coutinho,” said Valverde.

“They have whistled him, but they have also have applauded him. The best thing is to help the players.”

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