Guardiola in El Madrigal / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

After the goalless draw with Villareal, the distance between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid is now seven points. Josep Guardiola said that in the league “18 games remain” to be played, and he guarantees that his players “will try to fight for every point like they did tonight.” Along the same lines, the manager is clear that his team “will fight until the end” and that the only thing that he can guarantee is that “after the effort given the other day [in the Cup] that the team can come to a historic stadium like this one and behave the way they did.”

Guardiola considers that Barça played “an excellent game” at El Madrigal, the only thing that was lacking was “putting the ball in.” He added: “I’m very satisfied with the excellent response from the players after the other day’s effort. Our first 15 or 18 minutes were very good, we generated chances. After that the game got a bit out of hand. The second half was excellent. They had one chance through Senna, no chances after that.”

“We did everything to win”

The manager insisted that his team put in the effort to win the match: “we did everything and more to win. We did everything to win. We shot on goal, we opened up the field, we controlled their strong points . . . In this league we’ve tied a couple of games that we deserved to win and today is an example of that. We cannot forget that we played against an excellent opponent that played very well.”

The Cup match, according to Guardiola, “didn’t have an effect on the team” in tonight’s match. “It was evident at the end of the game. “There are a lot of expectations on us, but we prefer to be in all the competitions. We have a lot of matches, for the last four years we’ve had games every three or four days, the players are used to it. Now we will pick ourselves up and we’ll fight for the Cup,” said Guardiola.

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