Messi warns Barcelona not to depend on him

Leganes won their first league game of the season

Leganes had picked up one point from five league games before facing Barca

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde backs his decision to rest Lionel Messi on Saturday, despite the Catalan club drawing 1-1 with Athletic Bilbao.

"This is Barca. We have enough players, we don't need to depend on one".

"We are not anxious because the season is long and has only just started, but we are angry about the last results", Messi told reporters.

Philippe Coutinho gave champions Barcelona the lead in the 12th minute with a classy volley and Lionel Messi smacked a shot against the bar as Barca, resting Jordi Alba and Luis Suarez, made a strong start against Leganes, who began the game bottom of the table. We have to get better'.

"There are a lot of us here on our own merits, for having shown a lot at other clubs, and it doesn't depend only on Leo coming on".

"We are going to see for the following game, if we can recover him in time".

"There are no excuses today", Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets said.

And Valverde is under no illusions about the challenge facing Barca against the Premier League side, who lost 2-1 at Inter despite taking the lead in their Group B opener.

"I knew it was a risky decision, but if it had gone well, you wouldn't be asking me about it".

"It is important, because if we win we will take a very important step. It's absolutely my responsibility".

Barcelona are still top of the league but they have slipped up for three games in a row and are far from their best.

Nabil El Zhar scored the equaliser for the hosts with a fantastic header before Real Madrid's loaned player to Leganes, Oscar Rodriguez got the victor.

"There's no anxiety", he added. "We didn't expect them".

Leganes had to wait until the 30th minute for their first opening as Youssef En-Neysri broke into the box and picked out Rubén Pérez, who fired straight at goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Athletic's resistance finally caved in when Munir turned in Messis low cross and Ivan Rakitic had a final chance to win it late on for the Catalans, but sent the ball flying over the bar.

"We have to improve".

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