After a tough night in Andalusia which brought a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Málaga in La Rosaleda, Barça coach Luis Enrique shows no sign of throwing in the towel just yet. “There is still a long way to go in the league,” pointed out the Asturian after the game before describing the result as “unfair”.
“We gave everything and it is a shame because we deserved to win and we needed the points. I am delighted with the fight shown by my players and their attitude today.”
The coach admitted his side’s part in the reverse but maintained: “We know how difficult it would be and we began the game well. We had chances to take the lead in the first half but Málaga opened the scoring with their first attack.”
Javier Mascherano also tried to be positive despite the setback in Andalusia when he faced the press after the game. The game in the Bernabéu against leaders Real Madrid would be vital for the Barça defender but also “it will depend on Madrid dropping points.”
“Our obligation is to fight until the end. You never know in which game your rivals are going to drop points,” reasoned the Argentine.
On the game itself in Málaga, the Barça defender admitted that the team had not been at their best. “We controlled the game but they scored with their first real attack. Knowing how tough it is to attack a side who sit back in numbers, perhaps we lacked a little of the freshness we had in the last game [against Sevilla] to move the ball well. We had chances to level it up but it was clear they were dangerous on the counter attack and that’s what happened,” he added.
Barça captain Andrés Iniesta was honest in defeat. “I don’t know if it is a step back but it is a missed opportunity,” he said before looking forward to the next challenge on the horizon, the quarter-final first leg against Juventus. “Now we have to turn the page and start to think about the Champions League, an attractive competition. We just have to go there [Turin] and put in a great performance,” concluded Iniesta.