Barcelona responded perfectly to Messi penalty miss – Rakitic

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The Croatia international believes that the Catalans "have to improve a lot of things" but was happy to get the points in trying circumstances

Ivan Rakitic felt Barcelona produced the "perfect" response to Lionel Messi's penalty miss in their 2-0 victory over Deportivo Alaves on Saturday.

The Argentina star saw his spot-kick saved by Fernando Pacheco in the 39th minute as the home side kept Barca frustrated during a goalless first half at Mendizorroza.

However, Messi scored twice after the break to secure a second win in two LaLiga games for Ernesto Valverde's side and become the first player to surpass 350 goals in Spain's top flight.

And Rakitic hailed his side for the way they refused to panic following Messi's first-half miss.

"These things happen," he said when asked about the penalty, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo. "I think that the way we kept on playing was perfect for us. We have to improve a lot of things, but it was a great game.

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"It's always tough to play here. LaLiga has just started and every team is really motivated.

"We improved as the minutes went by until the second half, when the goals came. We played a good game, we kept calm. We're starting confidently and very strong.

"It gives us more confidence and we go to our national teams more relaxed. We're Barca and we want to win every game."

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