Pep Guardiola admitted that Barça didn’t play well against Osasuna, and accepted Real Madrid’s role as favorites in the Champions League, although his players will go into the game "with enthusiasm".
With three points in the bag Pep Guardiola admitted that the Osasuna match was pretty "poor", but
"it was important to win it.. ..we were aware of the game’s importance, and we took a very,
very, very big step towards the League title" he added. Guardiola suggested that: "We know Madrid
won’t lose any more games, because winning a trophy has liberated, and we have to get back to
Pleased with his players
Although he pointed out that it wasn’t Barça’s best game, Guardiola praised the
attitude of his players, including some who hadn’t played a lot lately: "The lads played with
a lot of drive. When you don’t play often, at times it’s difficult to get into the
game, but what can’t happen is that you don’t put in the effort, and that didn’t
happen". He explained that he had expected "a tough game" and that "after a 120 minute Final, with
only 3 days to recover, and with the semis of the Champions around the corner, the initial plan was
to not start with some players who had been playing a lot lately”.
Concedes that Madrid are favourites
Pep Guardiola is now thinking about the Champions League game on
Wednesday. "We won’t be going to Madrid in the best physical shape, but we’ll go there
with a lot of enthusiasm. We accept that Madrid may be favourites, they deserve it with their last
few weeks performances, but we’ll try to change that" he said. In addition, Guardiola
stressed that his players will go to Madrid "with the utmost pride....we have great belief in
Ambition in Madrid
Guardiola gave an idea of how Barça might play in Madrid. “We’ll do our best to
come away with a good result". According to him, "in the Bernabéu we have to be really focussed,
and try to create chances to win the match because if we don’t they’ll overwhelm us".
It’s a challenge that Barça accept, according to Guardiola as they "feel more comfortable
going out to win rather than to defend”.
Finally, Pep Guardiola commented on the rumor that there might be a Portuguese referee in the
first leg of the semifinals. "If the referee is Portuguese, I’m sure that the Madrid manager
will be pretty happy, just like he was in the first leg of last year’s Semi-Final" he