Pep Guardiola. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ (FCB).

“How can I not be happy with the spectacular show that the 22 players put on for us?” With this question, a hoarse Pep Guardiola expressed his joy for the amazing game played in San Mamés. After the draw, the Barça manager said: “Everyone enjoyed this marvelous game thanks to these very good players. This was an ode to football.”

Two teams looking for victory

Guardiola qualified the match as “a top shelf game, an amazing match.” He continued, “When both teams look to win the game these things can happen.” The Barça trainer admitted that he wasn’t surprised by what he saw, “We knew what type of game it would be from the first minute, it’s an honour that the players knew how to interpret it.” He went on to say, “there are few days where I can be prouder of my players. They completely understood the requirements of the match... It’s means a lot to come here and have the opposing team only reach your area three times.”

An opponent worthy of praise

After the final whistle, on the pitch of the San Mamés, Pep Guardiola had a short conversation with Marcelo Biesla, “I told him that they are [Biesla’s players] beasts. I had never played against a team so intense and aggressive.” With that said, Guardiola congratulated “Athletic Club, their manager, and their players for the wonderful game they played.”

Bielsa considers the draw fair

On other bench, Marcelo Bielsa said “It wouldn’t have been fair for us to win. The draw corresponds with what I saw on the pitch.” The Argentinean went on to praise Barça: “They are a new artistic expression that has generated culture.” The Athletic Club boss went on to say that Messi “is an incomparable footballer. Everything he does surprises you.”

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