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01.06.2007 00:56

Rijkaard pleased with second half effort

Vanessa Forns

Frank Rijkaard is pleased with the way his team played in the second half of the Copa Catalunya semi final against Nàstic, when they bounced back from two goals down. He was particularly impressed by Orlandi and Giovani dos Santos.

The FC Barcelona manager was willing to accept that Nàstic “started better than we did.” But he also felt that his team had performed exceptionally well after the break, and said they “fought until the end to get the win.”

Refereeing decisions

He described Thursday’s night’s game in Tarragona as ‘attractive’ and did not want to get involved in the controversy that led to two of the home side getting their marching orders. “The referee is on the pitch to do the best job he can” said Rijkaard. “That’s the way it is. It certainly wasn’t a particularly tough game and I felt the players respected each other out there. But it is not easy for any team to play with two players missing.”

Good performances from Orlandi and Giovani

Several reserve team players were involved in the game and Frank Rijkaard was especially proud of Andrea Orlandi and Giovani dos Santos. Of the former he said “he participated well, and two of our goals came from his crosses. He should be congratulated.” And as for Giovani, Rijkaard said “he is a very interesting player and he is good enough to be connected to the first team. He has a good attitude. He didn’t get much of the ball in the first half, but he played just behind the attack in the second and there he was able to create a good impression.”

Rijkaard pleased with second half effort
Appeal for Ronaldinho
This Thursday the Spanish Federation’s Appeals Committee has rejected FC Barcelona’s request for the one-match ban on Ronaldinho to be withdrawn, and the Brazilian will therefore almost certainly miss the Espanyol game this weekend. Frank Rijkaard still harbours some hopes of his star player being able to take part, but cryptically said “I do have my hopes, but I don’t usually reveal these things”.

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