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Martino

Martino / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

After the match, Gerardo Martino said this was “the game against Atlético that rendered the most goalscoring chances” and he was clear that he’s satisfied “with how the team played.” He added: “This is the first time we’ve played with the ‘4 pequeños’ (four small guys: Xavi, Cesc, Iniesta, Messi) [against Atlético]. I don’t think that we have a large set of variants. We always play the same way, everyone knows how we’re going to play and we almost always win.”

He went on to say that “Neymar is more comfortable on the left wing. Playing with four midfielders helps us equal their intensity. In the second half we had more amplitude and depth, more variants going forward,” said Martino, who added that “it was very difficult to get in through the middle. Even more so for Messi, who had a couple of chances that were well saved by the keeper."

“We elaborated our game well”

When asked about his substitution decisions, the Argentinian explained why he didn’t send in Pedro: “At the end of the match we created good attacking plays and that’s why I didn’t send in Pedro, a fourth striker, because I didn’t want to lose creativity in our elaboration of our game.” In addition, he was clear that not getting to the semi-finals “would be a failure.”

Finally, Martino said that the amount of games his players are featuring in should not have a negative effect on the team going forward: “We’re very accustomed to playing every three to four days and I see no reason why we can’t put in a good game against Betis. We have put in a lot of effort, but we’re in a position to keep on going.”

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