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31.03.2010 23:58

Guardiola expects tough return

Vanessa Forns

After the draw at the Emirates Stadium, the Champions League quarter final will be resolved at the Camp Nou. Josep Guardiola is convinced it will be a tough, difficult game.

Although he is aware Barça “wasted the chance to take a major step forward” and failed to make the maximum advantage of Ibra’s goals, Josep Guardiola is “proud and happy” that the team “displayed our best football and did all we could to take a major step forward. But you need to stay focused for 90 minutes in the Champions League”.

Pleased with the team

2010-03-31_PARTIDO_31.JPGDelighted with the way the team played, he added “we are happy to have come here and show the English what we can do. Last year we won everything but we didn’t play away like we did today. We stopped them from showing their best qualities because we kept hold of the ball. We have shown the world what we can do, and that’s a big thing, although we still have to prove ourselves by qualifying.”

Camp Nou support the key

He still feels that the return leg at the Camp Nou “will be more difficult, tougher” than Wednesday’s game. “That’s in terms of possession of the ball and creating goalscoring chances.” So Guardiola called upon the support of the fans more than ever.

Attacking philosophy

The manager said Barça will always play the same as long as he is in charge. “You have to go forward in this game” but then added that the squad, with an eye to next Tuesday “will try to stay in shape and seal passage to the semi finals”.

Missing faces

2010-03-31_PARTIDO_08.JPGPuyol and Piqué are both out for the next match, but Guardiola is convinced their replacements will be able to do just as well. He remembered the Champions League final in Rome, where FC Barcelona were missing three defenders. “If they aren’t there, others can do just as well” he said.

Proud of Ibra

Finally, the coach had a few words for Ibrahimovic, who scored both goals: “I am very pleased with him. As I always have been. He had a great game, and not just because of the two goals he scored. He helped us a lot.”
Guardiola expects tough return

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Laporta: “It is nice that the glass is half full”
Despite admitting that Barça threw away a potential victory Joan Laporta still felt that a draw at the Emirates Stadium “is a good result” and that for the return at the Camp Nou “it is nice that the glass is half full.” The president felt they gave a good showing against Arsenal, and despite singling out Ibrahimovic, who scored a brace against FC Barcelona, said “everybody had a good game … but perhaps we lacked the definition to sentence the round”.

Joan Laporta didn’t want to comment on any refereeing issues and merely said he wanted to “think about the return leg” and how “we are starting with an advantage” But he is sorry that the game at the Camp Nou will be missed by Puyol, Piqué and Cesc. “It is shame, I’d have liked all of them to be there” he concluded.

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