Josep Guardiola warned FC Barcelona to take no notice of FC Shakhtar Donetsk counterpart Mircea Lucescu's suggestion that "the tie is already decided" despite a 5-1 first-leg win.
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Josep Guardiola warned his FC Barcelona side to take no notice of FC Shakhtar Donetsk counterpart's Mircea Lucescu suggestion that "the tie is already decided" after the Spanish side won 5-1 at Camp Nou. It leaves the Pitmen with a massive hole to dig themselves out of in next Tuesday's second leg to reach the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, but Lucescu is determined to go down fighting.
Josep Guardiola, Barcelona coach
Don't believe [Mircea Lucescu] when he says the tie is over. I'm telling you: this isn't finished yet. We turned up at Real Betis [in the Copa del Rey] with a 5-0 lead and we suffered badly [losing 3-1]. I warned you all back then and I was accused of false modesty.
We are a little short at the back as with the absences of Abidal and Puyol we're missing important players with pace and we need to replace that with other qualities. Having said that, the players at my disposal are physical animals and if there's one thing they know it's how to compete.
We've had three games now where Leo [Messi] has been the determining factor without scoring; the match against Madrid, against Espanyol and now this one. He can win us games in many ways.
Mircea Lucescu, Shakhtar coach
We weren't expecting this. We have a great team that can play much better than we did. I decided not to close up and defend. I decided to try and play, to catch them out. But when we had a chance to score we missed it and they instantly went 1-0 up with an incredible goal from Iniesta that changed everything.
We did get ourselves back into it – we fought our way into the game but went on failing to convert our opportunities. In contrast, Barça know exactly how to provoke errors in your defending – they are so smart. They were clinical in taking their own chances, grew in confidence and, I think, the tie is already decided and they are going through.
But we will use this experience to grow, to learn and we will attempt to win the home leg in front of more than 50,000 fans who want to see us playing with style. We have lost to a footballing machine and they know how to guard this lead in the second leg but I know we can be very positive and play much better next week.