Guardiola delighted with winning start
Pep Guardiola was pleased with the display and outcome of FC Barcelona’s first league game of the new season as he felt that the result was important after the 0-3 win against Racing Santander on Sunday evening.
The Blaugrana boss praised his own team for their performance as Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta and
David Villa all scored and Víctor Valdés saved a penalty in El Sardinero. “To start with a
0-3 win is important,” he said.
Racing never gave up on their principles and that earned praise from Guardiola. “They
are one of the few teams that we have played face-to-face as they did not resort to long
balls,” he continued. “We watched them and doubted that they would and instead they
tried their luck.”
Despite evidently being pleased with the performance Guardiola admitted that there was room
for improvement. “We have lacked a spark, but that is normal,” the stated. “More
games will give us that throughout the season. We are very satisfied with what we have done.”
Valdés stood out as he saved a penalty and then made other stops to earn the gratitude of his
trainer. “He is Mister Reliable,” Guardiola commented. “He is very important to
us between the posts and in the dressing room. Valdés gives everyone confidence. His penalty save
at that moment was crucial to the game.”
Questions about Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s move to AC Milan were inevitable and Guardiola was
charitable with his responses. “He is an immense player,” he said. “I wish him
all the best in his new adventure. He was part of five trophies that we won.”
Iniesta also played very well in El Sardinero and Guardiola was
delighted. “He is in great form after a very complicated year,” the coach explained.
“His goal was very difficult to pull off.”