Guardiola during the match at El Sardinero / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Even though, in general terms, Barça dominated the match against Racing Santander, Josep Guardiola said that the game required his players to “play a very serious match.” According to the manager, his players had to put in a strong effort to take the three points seeing that the pitch at El Sardinero was not in good condition.

Guardiola highlighted the good work put in by his team seeing that Barça has a long list of “injured players.” A factor that “obligated” some of the players to “work harder” in order to accomplish the goal of finishing the season as well as possible. “We’ve been on form for a while. We have two and a half months left [in La Liga] and we’ll strive to have good performances in all of our matches,” he said.

“The penalty wasn’t decisive”

Once again, Lionel Messi, with two goals, one of them from a penalty, was the man of the match. When asked about Messi’s penalty, Guardiola said that his team “controlled the entire match,” the penalty “wasn’t decisive.”

The Barça manager also highlighted Pedro’s performance: “he’s an important player. He has been, is and will continue to be important for this Club. He needs to do the work that he did today, he was perfect in every regard. Scoring goals is a matter of time.” He also talked about the good defensive work put in by the team, singling out Sergio Busquets, Valdés and Puyol. “Without the work of the whole team it’s impossible to keep a clean sheet,” said Guardiola.

The Champions League draw on the horizon

When asked about the Champions League draw, which will take place this Friday, Guardiola said that to get to the final in Munich “you have to play against the best teams. All teams have their strong and weak points.” He also said that he would prefer to avoid AC Milan in the quarter-final draw, “because we have already played against them” in the group stages. “In the end the draw will decide” who we play against, said Guardiola.

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