Although FC Barcelona only registered a draw, conceding an away goal to Diego's wonder strike while also losing Gerard Piqué to a four-week lay-off, Andrés Iniesta told UEFA.com he was nevertheless thrilled to have taken part in a "terrific quarter-final". The Barcelona schemer set up Neymar's equaliser with a trademark assist, and later paid tribute to the Brazil forward who remains the only Blaugrana player to have registered against Club Atlético de Madrid in four outings this season.
Iniesta was full of confidence that Barcelona could complete the job in Madrid, a view shared by team-mate Marc Bartra, who ably deputised for Piqué after the defender suffered an injured hip.
Andrés Iniesta, Barcelona midfielder
We knew this would be a great game, really intense – a match befitting this stage of the UEFA Champions League. We knew we had a worthy rival. Now the tie remains open and we will travel to Madrid with our thoughts focused on making it to the semi-finals.
Diego's goal? That was a wonderful strike, from such distance, and there is very little you can do when someone hits it that well. I would say that the reaction we produced in order to get the draw is what is most important to us. As soon as we equalised, we went after the second goal to try and win it in the remaining minutes. My guess is that everyone who watched this has seen a terrific quarter-final.
As far as our goal is concerned, Neymar has that talent, that quality. With just one moment, one move, he can turn the game and the result. We are delighted with his goal and now we have to ensure that it becomes significant in turning the tie our way. None of us has any doubts about our capacity to win there, any doubts about our style of play or about our team. That it will be difficult, we know. But we will go to Madrid with every confidence of making it through.
Marc Bartra, Barcelona defender
It is true that I had to come on after about ten minutes without really getting more than a few seconds to warm up. But these are the type of games you love to play in and I was ready to deliver in front of this great support, who really got behind us tonight. I really enjoyed the match and although I knew the importance of the tie I genuinely felt comfortable.
We knew very well that Atlético would try and press us high up, stop us playing, but I would say we were the ones who tried to play the most football tonight. It was always going to be difficult to establish our normal style against Atlético but we moved the ball and passed it because that is our footballing identity. Even as much as they pressed and tried to take the ball off us, I believe we made the most and the clearest chances to win it.
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