Mascherano was a starter in Mestalla / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Javier Mascherano was one of the footballers that talked to the press after tonight’s match: “it’s a good result but it could have been better seeing how the game played out. We played against a great rival and we had good chances. Sometimes the ball just doesn’t go in. The important thing is that we played a good match and we created scoring chances.” Mascherano didn’t want to talk about bad luck: “I don’t like to talk about good luck or bad luck. A lot of teams go through these phases. We have to keep working and give the best of ourselves. That's the best way to change things.” The Barça player went on to say that “the tie is in our hands and that’s the most important thing. It depends exclusively on us.”

Here are the post-match reactions from the players after the semifinal away leg:

Gerard Piqué:

“We dominated the game. Winning here is always difficult. We had good chances and we missed them. But it’s a good result ahead of the return leg.

“A draw with goals away from home is always good in the Cup. Valencia is having a great season. It wasn’t easy.”

On the team’s form: “it’s a bit exaggerated. We don’t win as easily as we used to but we continue to secure good results.

“The pitch was very dry and high. It wasn’t easy to play.”

Dani Alves:

“We played a great game. We hope to be up to the task in the next match.”

On Pinto’s hand ball outside of the area: “it’s a play that happens during a game. You can call it or not. Referees are human. I believe the hand ball was involuntary.

“We’re at a good level and we have the opportunity to get into the final.”

Víctor Valdés:

“The team did a phenomenal job. I’d highlight Puyol’s goal. The captain is on form. It’s time to secure the tie at home in front of our fans.”

Pinto and Cuenca, anti-doping control

After the match in Mestalla, the FC Barcelona players José Manuel Pinto and Isaac Cuenca completed an anti-doping control

Keita, pivotal for Mali

Seydou Keita, who is playing in the Africa Cup of Nations with his national team, was key in Mali’s victory over Botswana (2-1). The FC Barcelona midfielder scored the second and decisive goal. With this victory, Mali ensured qualification to the quarterfinal round of the competition and they will play Gabon on Feb. 5.

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