Guadiola during the game against Real Madrid / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

After the 1-3 victory over Real Madrid, Guardiola said he was “more than delighted” with his team’s performance at the Bernabéu tonight. “We controlled the game and our opponent’s counterattacks, we created more than enough chances to score,” Guardiola said. But if the manager is especially proud of something it’s the “courage and fortitude” his players exhibited on the pitch tonight, especially when Barça found itself down after Benzema’s early goal.

“I admire the players’ fortitude. They have a lot of experience, both physically and mentally, and they knew how to move the game forward ... The players like to play and attack,” Guardiola proudly said. Along the same lines, the manager highlighted that this was the “perfect image” of how a team must react “after Real Madrid’s goal, Valdés kept on playing the ball.” He added, “this is the image of this team’s fortitude. I’d rather lose the ball playing from behind and maintain the playing style of building up play from the back, and we were able to do it,” before saying that, “winning here is meritorious, because it’s very difficult.”

A lot of League still yet to be played

Guardiola is convinced that, despite tonight’s loss, Mourinho’s team “will still be the strongest opponent” in the Liga. “This loss won’t sink Madrid’s morale. They are professionals and very good players,” he added. Barça’s manager insisted that “there is still a lot of Liga still yet to be played.”

“The competition wouldn’t be over if we had lost tonight. It’s part of this house’s philosophy. We haven’t forgotten that Madrid will be leaders if they win in Seville. What’s the interest in being champions in November or December? We must focus on our game and we’ll see how everything goes in the end,” concluded Guardiola.