Carles Puyol taking the ball forward against Ajax. / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Puyol in the game against Ajax. / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Club captain Carles Puyol believes the key to the defeat in Amsterdam lies with the fact that: “they came out more intense from the start and were up for it more, particularly in the first 25 minutes or so. If we want to win in Europe, we can’t start games like that”.

Pujol insisted: “the idea is to have the ball, but when you have a team up against you which is snapping at your heels and also know how to play the ball around, this is what happens. If you aren’t up for it enough, they’ll walk all over you”. Puyol also admitted that at the break, the players had been well aware of what was needed: “we had to change and we had 45 minutes to turn the result around. With the red card and the penalty, Ajax just went into their shells and we couldn't get the equaliser". Finally, the captain concluded: “you have to learn from every game and if we want to win things, we know we have to get better”.

Below are some of the other players post match statements:

Gerard Piqué: 

“It was our worst first 45 minutes of the season. We played badly and had the wrong mentality. We improved after the break, but even so we couldn’t create enough chances to get the equaliser. There can be no excuses and we need to look hard at ourselves and our performance in that game”

“You can concede a goal or be dominated in certain passages of play, but what you can’t do is play like we did in the first half. That is not the image of FC Barcelona”.

Xavi Hernandez

“We were missing intensity and unable to play our game. Ajax’s high pressure pressing  high up the pitch just didn’t give us the chance to bring the ball out under control. They were more intense than us and although we tried to turn it round in the second half, the 2-0 score was just too much and we couldn’t do it. We had a bad game –especially in the first half”.

“They were tight together at the back and full of energy. We hope it doesn’t affect us too badly – it’s the first defeat and let’s hope it won’t have too bad an effect, We’ve got a home game ahead of us and we still have a great chance to finish top of the group. Teams don’t forgive you in the Champions League and you could see that in the first half. It’s very hard to get an away win in Europe or in the Spanish League”.