Rakitic: “it was only normal for the game to get as heated as it did" / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

[[DES_1]]After FC Barcelona beat Atlético 3-2 at the Vicente Calderón, Ivan Rakitic said that “we played a very complete match. It is not easy when you have to come from behind twice like we have done in their stadium. We didn’t beat Atlético at all last season and we’ve done it three times this year, so we must be doing things right. I hope things continue like this.”

He added that “it was only normal for the game to get as heated as it did. Barça and Atlético Madrid are two of the best teams in the world. We were playing for a title so it was only natural.”

The Croatian also commented that although the three goals came from two counter attacks and one dead ball situation, that doesn’t mean the style of play has changed. “When a team like Atlético Madrid opens up on the pitch, you can play a different way” he said. “But the Barça style has been the same for the last 40 or 50 years”.

Rakitic was not the only player to speak to the press after tonight’s 3-2 win in the cup:

Javier Mascherano

“It’s very important that we’re in another semi-final, especially after beating a very tough opponent, the team that knocked us out of the Champions League season and won La Liga at the Camp Nou. We have to keep this going. Let’s hope we get as far as the final.”

“Atlético Madrid are a very tough team. But I don’t think they push beyond the rules of the game. We should respect them. There is a lot at stake in these games. Maybe the occasional leg went in harder than usual, but I don’t think the Atlético Madrid players had any bad intentions”.

“I don’t think it was a penalty. If the referee thought it was a foul, he should have seen that it happened outside, not inside the area. I could see that Juanfran was trying to get inside the area and find me. I tried to get out of the area. When someone looking for the contact it’s impossible to get out of the way. Luckily it didn’t mean we lost the game”.

Mascherano reaction after victory in the Calderón by fcbarcelona

Sergio Busquets

“That’s football. The first half was a nice one for the fans. I think we played seriously and found the gaps they left behind them, which made it easier to get it back to 2-2. When we went 3-2 up, it was always going to be an uphill struggle for them”.

“Mascherano’s penalty was outside the area, so the ref got it wrong for both teams. Over two legs, it doesn’t come down to one play”.

“Neymar is a player that makes a big difference. That’s football. It’s about imagination, and he’s got lots of that. You have to know how to win and how to lose”.

“We are pleased to have scored from a set piece. We took the chance and that’s important. We also scored on the counter-attack today because we knew they’d leave spaces at the back and we exploited them.”

“Barça are always candidates for any title they play for. But we’re not under-estimating Villarreal or Getafe, who will get in the semi-finals. We need to prepare well for those games”.

Jordi Alba

“I had to run a long way for the second goal – from our area to their area, but luckily I got there in time to pass the ball to Neymar. I was very happy with the way the team played, and especially the intensity after we went 1-0 down. I’m thrilled that we’re through to the semi-finals”.

Thursday off

The team has been given the day off on Thursday and will be required to report back on Friday for training at 11.00am (CET) at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. It’ll be the first session in which they’ll be preparing for Sunday’s Liga fixture against Villarreal at the Camp Nou (9.00pm CET).

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