Lionel Messi notched the first goal of the former Betis coach’s tenure at Camp Nou in a match where the Catalans dominated control of the ball
Sergio Busquets refused to compare Barcelona under Ernesto Valverde and Quique Setien after the Catalans made a winning start to life under their new head coach.
Barca returned to the top of La Liga with a 1-0 win over a dogged Granada at Camp Nou on Sunday.
The home side enjoyed nearly 83 per cent of the possession but could not break down their visitors until Lionel Messi struck 76 minutes in after German Sanchez had been sent off.
Setien’s variation of a 3-4-3 saw Barca monopolise the ball and push high up the pitch, a style more in keeping with the methods of Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola than Valverde, who was sacked this month after losing to Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana.
Busquets was pleased with their display but would not enter into comparisons between the methods of Setien and Valverde, who eventually lost the faith of the fans and the board due to his more cautious approach.
500 – Barcelona (508 vs Granada) are the first team to attempt 500+ passes in a first half of a LaLiga game and failing to score since at least 2005/06. Patience. pic.twitter.com/dIyikesw0K
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 19, 2020
“We were a solid team. We had control of the ball. They created little against us,” he told Movistar.
“It’s true that we struggled when they dropped deep but, in general terms, the team played a good game.
“It’s not about comparing. Every coach has his style and his way of seeing football. You’ll see what Setien asks us to do. We’re not going to reveal it.
“We’re delighted with what Ernesto did and we’re delighted with Setien.”
Setien also earned a cheer from the Camp Nou crowd for bringing on Masia graduate Riqui Puig, who found chances hard to come by under Valverde.
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The 20-year-old won back possession on the edge of the Granada box in the build-up to the goal, and Busquets hopes it is just the start for the midfielder.
“He has a lot of things to mature, but it looks like he can be here [to boost the team],” Busquets added.
Barca are level with Real Madrid on 43 points at the top of the table after 20 games, with Atletico Madrid and Sevilla eight points adrift.