Tito Vilanova en el partit d'aquest vespre davant el Saragossa / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

On Wednesday many of Tito Vilanova’s players were away with their respective national teams, but they didn’t let him down as they claimed the three points against Zaragoza at the Camp Nou this evening. The Barça manager praised his players for their hard work against Los Maños:  "The effort of the players after international week stands out."

Contradicts Manolo Jiménez

After the game, the Zaragoza manager, Manolo Jiménez, said that “that match is won by whoever has Messi [on their team].” Vilanova responded by pointing out that it's “too simple” to think about football like that. He added: “Leo is a very good but we need all of our players because it isn’t possible to win with just one man.”

The Catalan went on to praise Zaragoza for their match at the Camp Nou: “They are a team that wanted to play football. It seems as though more and more teams simply don’t to play and for us it’s good that they played for the three points and didn’t close themselves off at the back.”

Puyol’s substitution

Vilanova also explained why he subbed Puyol out of the match in the second half: “I wanted to give Jordi Alba some rest but he told us to have a player ready just in case Puyol needed to come off. I decided to sub him out because he hasn’t played in a long time and we’ve been having [injury] problems with our centre backs.

The manager, when asked about the Puyol-Piqué duo in the middle of Barça’s defence, said, “it’s good for all of us to have them back on the team. This also allows us to rest players like Mascherano. They’ll regain their form and their performances will improve over time.”

Zubizarreta: “It's important to recover players”

“It’s important to get players like Puyol and Piqué back. We hope to get Adriano and Thiago back soon,” said Andoni Zubizarreta after the match. When asked about Alexis’ injury, the FC Barcelona’s director of football said, “this doesn’t disrupt our plans, that’s why we have a large team.”