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15.01.2008 23:59

Rijkaard pleased with defensive effort

Vanessa Forns

Rijkaard was delighted to see his team through to the last eight of the cup, saying “the team played, especially defensively, with concentration and sacrifice”.

He believed tonight’s game at the Camp Nou “was a match between two good teams. Sevilla did a good tactical job. But we had the first leg result in our favour and so we put a lot of thought into counter attacks. We had to fight hard, it was very intense”.

Moving on

The Barça coach went on to add a more negative view in that “in constructing moves, we lost too many unnecessary balls at times … but it was a very good result for us, we have qualified and so we move on. Before the game we said how important it was not to let in a goal, and if possible, score one ourselves. We didn’t score, unfortunately, but we didn’t let any in either. The team showed concentration and sacrifice in defence”.

Sevilla’s tactics

He then admitted that “it was not a pretty game. But the style of play also depends a lot on the opposition ... we had to take a lot of care with an opponent that played a very tactical game, played aggressively, and put a lot of players at the back”.

Villarreal or Recreativo?

Asked whether he would rather meet Villarreal or Recreativo in the quarter finals, Frank Rijkaard said “on paper Villarreal are a stronger side, but you can never tell in knockout games.” Whoever they meet, Rijkaard knows the only thing that really matters in getting through the round.
Rijkaard pleased with defensive effort
Laporta pleased with group performance
After the game, Joan Laporta praised the group effort that had seen his team into the last eight of the Copa del Rey. “It was a very exciting tie, we have seen 180 minutes of titanic effort from both teams” he said. Laporta also commented on the court verdict announced today that cleared the club of the accusations made by French daily Le Monde and journalist Stéphane Mandard of links between Barça and doping. “It is a matter of honour. It is important not to trivialise these situations. It was a slur on our club and I am happy that the court’s verdict has shown that we were right”.

Laporta was also fresh back from a meeting at FIFA headquarters in Zurich between representatives of European clubs, UEFA and FIFA. He said the results of the meeting were “a historic step forward in relationships between clubs, UEFA and FIFA”. He added that it is “a trusting relationship between all parties” and that “the basis of the footballing family is once again trust”.

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