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29.09.2009 23:55

Guardiola: "Opening goal calmed us down"

Anna Segura

Pep Guardiola believes that his FC Barcelona side were too hurried in the early stages of their Champions League encounter with Dynamo Kiev, but the opening goal by Lioenl Messi managed to calm them down.

The Blaugrana trainer predicted that the Ukrainian side would not be easy to beat and he was proved right as they defended well and looked to ask the hosts questions on the break in Camp Nou on Tuesday evening. The victory though saw Barça move to the top of Group F following Inter's draw against Rubin Kazen. "It is good to be the leaders as quickly as possible because this is a tough group," Guardiola told the media. "Home games will be decisive in who qualifies. If we manage to beat Kazan in Camp Nou we will have taken a very important step."

Quick start

2009-09-29_PARTIDO_29.JPGLooking back on the entire game against Dynamo, Guardiola felt the opening few minutes were not good from his team. "We started trying to attack too quickly and we moved ahead of the ball and they surprised us on the counter-attack," he explained. "Messi's goal came just at the right time in order to calm us down. Things should have worked for us to win and I think they did."

Not the favourites

Guardiola was then asked about being the first team to retain the Champions League and remained philosophical. "We will try to be, but the record books show that the holders never win it aback and often go out in the Last 16 stage."

Abidal and Puyol

After a good defensive display, Guardiola was keen to highlight the contribution of Éric Abidal and Carles Puyol. "Over the past two years I cannot remember a performance that was equal to that," he added.

Vilanova ban

2009-09-29_PARTIDO_23.JPGOn Tuesday Barça were told that assistant coach Tito Vilanova must serve a two-match ban after being sent off against Málaga. "It is a little disproportionate," he stated. "He only protested against a decision by the referee with no insult."

Guardiola also learnt this week that the National Anti-Doping Tribunal had rejected an appeal against him being cleared of taking Nandrolone while playing for Brescia in 2001. "It is a closed chapter now and we must all look forward," he said
Guardiola: “Opening goal calmed us down“
Laporta: "We deserved to win"
FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta admitted that the game against Dynamo Kiev was hard. "It was a touch match," he explained. "We are in a difficult group with physically strong teams. But the team has played at a high level and I think that we deserved to win."

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