​Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has expressed his belief that his players were not "as far away" from a positive outcome as the scoreline suggested in Sunday's 3-1 Supercopa de Espana first leg defeat against Real Madrid.

The Blaugrana fell to defeat, despite having a man advantage for the final minutes following the dismissal of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The prolific Portuguese forward had scored his side's second goal with an emphatic strike moments earlier, and that goal was followed by an equally brilliant Marco Asensio effort late on.

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - Supercopa de Espana: 1st Leg

Despite the loss at the Nou Camp, Valverde chose to remain positive, claiming that his side largely "played well".

"I don't have the feeling that we were as far away from [Real Madrid] as the scoreboard indicates," he said, quoted by ​Marca.

"They scored three goals, but this was a game in which we played well and had chances. Reaching their danger zones isn't all that matters, as you also need to hit the target.


"I don't believe that we're lacking goalscoring ability, but they were more clinical. They caught us in a one-versus-one situation and then scored one wonder goal and then another to make it 3-1.

"It was an even game and they had a strong central midfield, which made playing inside difficult. Their second goal really hurt us.

"We congratulate them and we will try to improve for the next match."

Valverde admitted that Real Madrid are now very much in control of the tie ahead of the second leg at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

"We have a very unfavourable aggregate score and the opponent is the favourite," he added. "Now we have to play a second leg and things are never over after one defeat, or after one victory.

"When you lose you want another game to come along quickly to try to put things right. We are a little bit taken aback, but we have time to recover our energy."