Tito Vilanova / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

“I would have preferred to have won more easily and suffered less. However, I think these types of games are good for all of us. Football is not easy. The comeback proves that this team is eager to win,” said Tito Vilanova in the Richard Maxenchs press room. The manager praised the ambition his players showed throughout the match: “they proved that they really like playing football. It’s difficult for a team that has won so much to be this hungy for victory.”

“We carried the weight of the game and had the initiative throughout the whole match. We knew that their forwards were fast and that they were dangerous on the counter,” said Vilanova. “When were were behind we changed our style of play and that gave us more options going forward. Of course, that means we were a bit more vulnerable at the back.”

Song as a center back

The Barça manager explained that “I could have sent in Marc Bartra for Piqué but there was a lot of time left on the clock and Marc hasn’t played a full game yet this year. Song, on the other hand, was brought in for this purpose and he has more experience.” The manager added that “Song is a player that brings the ball out well from the back because he’s played in the pivot position many times before.” On Bartra and Fontàs, Vilanova added that “they need to wait for their opportunity to play.”

Tello, Messi and Jordi Alba

When asked about the performance put in by Tello, who scored a goal and assisted Messi for the team’s second, Vilanova said that “he’s having a good season. He had a good season last year as well. He finds space on the wing and he’s confident enough to take on his mark. It’s good that he scored a goal tonight because he had a couple of chances last time he played.”

On the Argentine: “Messi is playing well. He’ll have more rhythm as the season goes on. This Wednesday he scored two goals. Not bad at all,” said the smiling manager.

Lastly, when asked about Jordi Alba, he explained that “he played with the Spanish national team whilst on medication [antibiotics] and, seeing that he hasn’t completely recovered, the Club decided that the best course of action was to take him to hospital. His medications have left him a bit weak and he should be good to go by Saturday.”

Unai Emery praises Barça

The Spartak Moscow manager congratulated Barça for this evening’s victory and he noted that “Barça are one of the favourites to win the Champions League.” Emery also said that “I have the bacd luck of being one of the managers that has never been able to win in this stadium. But I’m lucky enough to have come to the Camp Nou six times.”