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Roura calls for Barcelona composure

Published: Monday 11 March 2013, 21.45CET
Jordi Roura stressed the importance of composure as FC Barcelona bid to overhaul a two-goal deficit against AC Milan, whose coach Massimiliano Allegri has ambitions beyond this tie.
by Lucy Turner
from Barcelona

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Published: Monday 11 March 2013, 21.45CET

Roura calls for Barcelona composure

Jordi Roura stressed the importance of composure as FC Barcelona bid to overhaul a two-goal deficit against AC Milan, whose coach Massimiliano Allegri has ambitions beyond this tie.

FC Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura will send his players out with a simple order on Tuesday evening: to remain cool under pressure as they seek to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit against AC Milan. 

Tito Vilanova, as always, is living every game with a lot of intensity. He is having treatment but he's full of energy and watching our every move.
Jordi Roura
I trust my team and anything can happen in football. I expect them to play well and if we're lucky enough, we will qualify for the next round.
Massimiliano Allegri

Milan hectored and harried the Catalan club into submission last month with second-half strikes from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari giving them a healthy lead to defend in this UEFA Champions League last-16 decider at the Camp Nou. Roura's exhaustive assessment of the Italian side exposes the possibility of a frustrating night for the hosts, while words such as "serenity" and "confidence" emanated from his opposite number Massimiliano Allegri, who admitted "when you face Barcelona you're never calm".

Barcelona
Jordi Roura, assistant coach
The perfect match will be the one that ends well and takes us to the quarter-finals. We have to find the right balance between intensity, strength and haste. This match will last 90 minutes so we have to keep our heads and keep our cool, not lose control of the match.

We have all seen lots of games similar to this situation but every match has its own peculiarities. In the end we have to focus on how we play, but perhaps we have analysed the first leg against Milan more than any other match. Tomorrow is very important, not just for me, but for the club, the fans and the team as a whole.

Milan didn't surprise me. I know that playing away to Milan is always tough. I don't know how they'll play [tomorrow] but I imagine they will sit back on their 2-0 lead. We had a long week to work [after the first leg] and the team have responded well.

Tito Vilanova, as always, is living every game with a lot of intensity. He is having treatment but he's full of energy and watching our every move. We have analysed everything together in the same way we would [with Tito in charge]. It's not the same, but we're using all the technology available to be in constant touch [with him].

Evidently, conceding goals in the Champions League is always a problem. Tomorrow we don't want to concede. When you end up losing a match by 2-0 it means you didn't play very well and the opponent did. Milan are Milan, a great club and a tough rival. The match there was very hard for us but this is our opportunity to turn things around. 

Weekend result
Saturday: Barcelona 2-0 RC Deportivo La Coruña (Sánchez 38, Messi 88)

Pinto; Alves, Mascherano, Puyol, Adriano; Song; Thiago Alcántara (Iniesta 67), Fàbregas (Busquets 75); Sánchez, Villa (Messi 62), Tello.

• Lionel Messi scored for the 17th consecutive Liga game – the previous record had been ten – as leaders Barcelona returned to winning ways after back-to-back defeats by Real Madrid CF. It was also Barça's first clean sheet in 14 games in all competitions. José Manuel Pinto made his first league appearance of the campaign as Víctor Valdés began a four-match Liga ban.

Team news
Xavi Hernández has been nursing a right hamstring injury since the first leg and remains a doubt. 

Milan
Massimiliano Allegri, coach
Everyone knows how important the match is tomorrow. However, the process of building a team that started in August will not stop if we lose to the greatest team in the world. This team has young players with no international experience, so we need confidence and serenity tomorrow. Barcelona always force their opponents to play the same way because of their ball possession. If we can keep Barcelona away from our box, then we have a better chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals. 

I expect Barcelona to put us under a lot of pressure from the word go. They are very capable of turning the tie around. They create lots of chances to score, so you have to be good on the ball and determined when you are defending. We may have few chances to score but they are likely to leave gaps in their defence. When you face Barcelona you're never calm.

I think they will try and score an early goal, but we have to keep calm. I am lucky because I joined Milan and was able to manage great players, and this season I am just as enthusiastic managing a completely new team. I have to be patient to help them grow as players because they're young. Going through difficult times is part of the process. I am happy to be here and take charge of such an important match.

Tomorrow we have to play without pressure, especially when you compare Barcelona's experience in the Champions League to ours. Nonetheless, I trust my team and anything can happen in football. I expect them to play well and if we're lucky enough, we will qualify for the next round.

Weekend result
Friday: Genoa CFC 0-2 Milan (Pazzini 22, Balotelli 60)
Abbiati; De Sciglio, Zapata, Mexès (Yepes 46), Constant; Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari; Niang, Pazzini (Balotelli 25), El Shaarawy (Abate 68).

• Milan's three points were hard earned, with Giampaolo Pazzini scoring the stunning opener – his ninth goal in 11 games – despite struggling with an ankle injury that forced him off immediately after. The hosts' Cesare Bovo hit a post before Pazzini's replacement Mario Balotelli doubled the lead on the hour. Milan, third in Serie A, played the last 25 minutes with ten men after Kévin Constant was sent off.

Team news
Pazzini (fibula) did not travel to Barcelona and Philippe Mexès (thigh) is rated as doubtful. Luca Antonini played 90 minutes for the youth side at the weekend and could feature for the first time since twisting his right knee on 14 February. Nigel de Jong is out for the season after damaging his left Achilles tendon in December. 

Match fact
• The fixture marks a homecoming for Bojan Krkić, a graduate of Barcelona's La Masia academy, who played in their first team from 2007 to 2011, making 104 Liga appearances and scoring 26 goals.

Last updated: 22/10/13 9.23CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000348/match=2009596/prematch/preview/index.html#barcelona+milan+preview

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