Valverde pleased with Messi’s cameo in Barcelona return

first_imgLionel Messi has “done enough” in his return as Barcelona drew 0-0 with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, insisted head coach Ernesto Valverde. Messi made his first appearance of the season after recovering from a calf injury in Barca’s goalless draw away to Dortmund in their Group F opener on Tuesday. The Barca captain had been sidelined up until his second-half introduction against Dortmund, though Messi was a peripheral figure for the visitors.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career “He’s like any player who hasn’t had a pre-season,” Valverde said. “He’s had to play in a game at an incredible pace, which had already started, all without preparation. “It’s his first 30 minutes. He’s done enough. It was also the first full game for Luis Suarez.” Barca had goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to thank for securing a point after the German star saved Marco Reus’ second-half penalty. Ter Stegen thwarted Dortmund on more than one occasion in the second 45 minutes and Valverde hailed the Germany international. Borussia Dortmund Barcelona Ter Stegen Reus Champions League“In La Liga we were saying that opponents score against us,” Valverde added. “But tonight, he was very good. We have a great goalkeeper and we benefit from that.” And Valverde was not upset with the result considering the challenges his side were facing coming into the match and the quality of their opposition.  “The result is what it is,” he explained. “We suffered a lot and have to recognise that. “It’s something we knew would happen. It was a complicated game.” Ter Stegen was the hero of the day for the Spanish side, his save on Reus helping Barcelona to a hard-fought point.  And the German was pleased to be able to turn away his international team-mate to preserve the clean sheet.  “It’s hard to study, Reus always changes,” he said. “It was a feeling I had [going to his left] and I’m glad that I could save it” Barcelona return to the pitch Saturday to face Granada in La Liga, with the defending champions looking to climb back to the top of the table.  Valverde’s side sit fifth through four matches having picked up just seven points.last_img read more

Metrolinx abandons court appeal but wont let Bombardier bid to operate GO

MONTREAL — Ontario’s transit agency has decided not to appeal a court ruling favouring Bombardier but will exclude the Montreal-based company from bidding to continue operating GO Transit trains as it has done for decades.Metrolinx said Friday that it will seek new operators to take over the suburban GO Transit and UP Express airport rail services after the current contract expires in 2023.The winning bidder to be chosen in about a year will first review the current operations by Bombardier and two other Canadian companies and then operate the services as it quadruples in size to 6,000 trains a week from 1,500.“We really need to bring in an internationally experienced operator (or consortium) to help us do this,” Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said in an interview.She said the existing operators wouldn’t be able to objectively review the current service and therefore won’t be eligible to bid.However, Aikins said the winning bidder wouldn’t be precluded from using the services of Bombardier and the other two companies to operate and maintain the trains.She said the contract with Bombardier is worth about $100 million a year.Eric Prud’homme, spokesman for Bombardier, said the company is “surprised” it won’t be allowed to bid and is studying the document from Metrolinx.Aikins denied that the decision to exclude Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) from bidding relates to the acrimonious relationship caused by repeated delays in providing a light rail transit prototype vehicle for the scheduled 2021 opening of the $5.3-billion Eglinton Crosstown line in Toronto.“Absolutely not at all,” she said.“They are very separate divisions of Bombardier and we’ve had a successful relationship for over 40 years.”Aikins said Metrolinx also decided to no longer appeal an April Ontario Court ruling that prevented it from cancelling the $770-million contract for 182 light rail cars without first going through dispute resolution. The deadline for launching the appeal was Friday.“We have decided to move on and concentrate on the dispute resolution,” she said.Prud’homme said Bombardier was pleased by the decision not to appeal.“We salute the decision and we are dedicated to finding a solution,” he said.Ontario has reached a $528-million agreement to buy 61 light rail vehicles from French manufacturer Alstom in case Bombardier is found to be in default at the end of the dispute resolution process. read more