His two summer signings both deserved to start, he felt, as he’d stated beforehand that he wouldn’t accept mediocrity against the Old Lady.
“This is a competition which demands complete attention and I must put in the best players,” Valverde had said.
While Semedo carried on from his impressive performance against Espanyol by nullifying Douglas Costa and getting forward frequently to cause problems, Dembele suffered and looked very much like a player still adjusting to his new team.
The young Frenchman was involved in a direct duel with Alex Sandro, but largely struggled to get the better of the Brazilian, as Juve’s left-back thwarted him on more than one occasion.
Dembele wasn’t involved in the intricate football between Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez that led to the opener and the lack of space to run into and to exploit his pace against a tightly-organised Juventus defence hindered him.
Circumstances, at least on Tuesday, did not benefit the former Borussia Dortmund man, although Messi did attempt to involve him and keep his head up throughout.
He did have a second half strike saved by Gianluigi Buffon before being substituted by Valverde on 70 minutes, to the applause of the Camp Not faithful.