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Tata Martino / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

[[DES_1]]Days prior to the Clásico, Tata Martino said that the match was “vital” in order to keep Barça’s hopes alive in La Liga. After the 3-4 victory over Real Madrid, the manager said, “La Liga has started over, we’re back in the fight for the title.” In addition, the Argentinian praised his players and, specifically, Leo Messi: “He’s put in many performances like the one he put in today, but the impact is greater in a Clásico. I really have run out of words for him.”
They are a team that always give you the sense that they will win comfortably, that’s why I value this victory highly
The 3-4 final result at the Bernabéu is indicative of how difficult and how intense Clásicos can be. “The players are the big protagonists, this game wasn’t going to change my perception of my players,” said Martino. “The players can’t always avoid their rivals’ plays, our rivals also play football,” explained the manager before highlighting Real Madrid’s quality: “They are a team that always give you the sense that they will win comfortably, that’s why I value this victory highly.”

After tonight’s game the fight for the title is as close as ever, Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid share the top spot, while Barça are one point away from the summit. “I always believed that all three teams would still be in the fight for the title at the end of the season, and that’s how it is,” said Martino. “Today was our last chance, we didn’t want to be left out of the fight,” he added.
We knew that a draw didn’t help us at all, and we needed a more offensive presence
The manager went on to talk about the individual performances from some of the players on his team. On Neymar Jr, who started the match against Madrid, he said that “he knows how to play in difficult matches, at 21 years of age he’s seen it all and he’s won a lot.” When asked about his decision to bring on Pedro, who had a great performance, the Argentinian said: “We knew that a draw didn’t help us at all, and we needed a more offensive presence.”

Zubizarreta praises team's work rate

Andoni Zubizarreta, FC Barcelona director of football, talked to the press after this evening’s victory at the Bernabéu. “The work put in by the entire team was enormous,” he said. “The names of Messi and Iniesta will always be remembered in football history. They played a great game.”

Despite the magnitude of the victory, Zubi warned: “On Wednesday we have another match at the Camp Nou, against Celta, and it will start at 0-0. We have to follow this same path.”


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