Guardiola with Tito Vilanova in the match agianst Sporting / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Pep Guardiola was proud of the attitude that his team showed in tonight’s match against Sporting Gijón. The Barça manager said, “we won a match against a very defensive side in a match that turned against us. I'm happy with how the players reacted. They’ve done it again. The fans had a great time because we appealed to the epic [spirit] that this Club can sometimes have.”

Despite not being able to use Messi in tonight’s match, the manager knew that his team wouldn’t falter: “the players took a step forward tonight.”

Necessary victory

“It’s very necessary to win games like this throughout the year.” Guardiola believes that tonight’s game against Clemente’s side will reinforce the Catalan club in the future. “The way this game was won reinforces our morale,” said that manager. Guardiola also highlighted the “self-esteem” of his players.

This Wednesday, Barça is to face Bayer in the return leg of the Champions League knock-out stage. “We have to try and enjoy this tie as we try to get to the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the forth year in a row,” he said. Guardiola also warned that the tie isn’t over despite the 1-3 from the away leg, and that his team should not underestimate their midweek opponents.

Praise for Keita

Guardiola had special words for Keita. “He scored a golazo [amazing goal], he never plays poorly. He does his best whenever I need him. He makes my job easier. I hope he can stay in this house as long as possible.”

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