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26.11.2008 23:49

Guardiola: “Good first half, strange second”

Roger Bogunyà

Josep Guardiola had his own take on FC Barcelona impressive win against Sporting Clube on Wednesday as he stated that his side had been “very good” in the first half, but that the second period was “very strange”.

The Blaugrana coach had his reasons for describing the encounter like that as the scoreboard went from 0-3 to 2-4 in the space of just three incredible minutes. Guardiola admitted that Barça had been “lucky” to go 2-4 ahead thanks to the own goal and stated that the pitch made things difficult for his players “because they had to control and then re-control the ball and that caused us problems”.

Messi’s position

sportingc-fcb_x4x.jpgLionel Messi returned to the side and started the game in the centre of the three attacking players for Barça in the José Alvalade, but then went to flanks after the team went ahead. Guardiola explained why the change was made. “Messi played in the number nine role because Sporting played with a diamond formation and I thought that if he was in the middle then he could take on their centre-backs directly,” the trainer said. “Playing out wide is more demanding and we wanted to protect him.”

Confidence in Bojan

After deciding to take Messi off, Guardiola was keen to give Bojan Krkic a run out and he went on in place of Thierry Henry. “I wanted Bojan to play in the middle and it was well,” he continued. “Our previous game was not so good, but on Wednesday things went well.” The coach then explained that he had nothing to do with the young forward’s decision to take the penalty that saw Barça go 2-5 ahead.

Guardiola: “Good first half, strange second”
Training on Thursday
The Barça first team squad will return to training on Thursday evening at 5.30pm. That will be the first session where the team focus on the game against Sevilla in the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán on Saturday.

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