"A 2-0 defeat is a hard blow for us," said FC Barcelona captain Carles Puyol, yet while he and Daniel Alves hailed AC Milan's display they are far from giving up the last-16 tie.
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FC Barcelona captain Carles Puyol admitted the 2-0 defeat at AC Milan in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie was a "hard blow" for his side, but he said of the return: "It will be like a final for us." Team-mate Daniel Alves was not surprised by Milan's performance yet remains confident the Azulgrana can progress.
Carles Puyol, Barcelona captain
A 2-0 defeat is a hard blow for us. We knew before the match that it wouldn't be easy to face a team like Milan and in fact they played with a very strong fighting spirit. They were very aggressive and they almost did not allow us to play. We were in control of the game most of the time, but we could not create real chances to score. Instead, the Rossoneri were not only very solid in defence, but also managed to score twice. They did not create many chances, but they still managed to score twice. We knew we were facing a difficult game.
In the second leg in Barcelona we must play a different way. To come back after such a result will not be easy, but we have confidence in our qualities and in the additional drive that will be given to us by our supporters in Camp Nou. I cannot say in percentage terms how much chance we have of qualifying, but it will be a hard task indeed. To get to the next stage we will give our best and always remain positive. We are used to playing big games – it will be like a final for us. We know what we will be facing in Barcelona.
Daniel Alves, Barcelona defender
Tonight's result is definitely not positive for us. However, AC Milan put on a great performance and they deserved to win the match. We must remember there is another match to be played and we're only halfway into this challenge. I am confident we still have a chance to progress to the next round.
I do not think the Rossoneri surprised us with their performance, because we knew it would be hard to play at San Siro as historically they are a great side in this competition. Now we have to work hard on a two-goal comeback, but we will of course give all we have to achieve that.