Faultless Barcelona earn Guardiola praise
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
"We were good in every aspect," said Josep Guardiola after his FC Barcelona side put themselves in a commanding position with a 3-1 first-leg victory away to Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
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Robin Dutt, Leverkusen coach
Our defence played very well during the first half, but we showed them too much respect. In the second half it was a completely different story. During the break I asked my players to take the initiative and participate in the match. In the second half we caused Barcelona problems. For 15 minutes we were the better team and played some really good football. For the match at the Camp Nou, normally we wouldn't have a chance but you never know. A few years ago I watched Barcelona beat Basel [5-0] in Switzerland, but they drew 1-1 in the second game in Spain, so anything is possible.
Josep Guardiola, Barcelona coach
German teams always create problems for you. In my experience, even when they are not playing well they always come into a game at some point. The first half was a little bit stale for us compared to the second. In the opening 45 minutes they didn't open up all that much and they were keeping it tight at the back. We managed to create chances though and to score three goals away from home is very good; we are very satisfied.
They are a very tall team and play long passes into dangerous areas; we will need to watch out for that in the second leg. When you concede, it's never easy to go back up the other end and score again. We were good in every aspect, in defence and attack. We are playing in Europe now and it's not easy to create as many chances as we did.
You can't expect to come to a place like this and imagine that your opponents aren't going to create chances. The second half suited us better than the first. It was more end to end but that's normal in Europe; it gives us a lesson for the return.
As a player I hardly ever scored so I can't speak from experience, but I imagine goalscorers need to score. Messi has no problems dealing with these things though. He scored a really wonderful goal and was involved in many moves. He's continuing to show his strength which for us is vital. Alexis [Sánchez] is putting in a lot of work and is scoring a lot. He opens up the pitch for us and his movement is great. I'm very happy for him. He's a very humble guy.
In the art of competing my team showed that they are doing well. This is the Champions League and we came to Germany to face a team that practically eliminated Valencia, and we all know about [the quality of] Valencia. We are very satisfied with what we have done here tonight. We are a little bit closer to getting into the draw for the quarter-finals.