matchdays | 2017-02-02
Mascherano: ‘The team made a great effort and we’re pleased with the result’
The players speak after a vital win in the Spanish Cup semis first leg
Barça took an important step towards the Copa del Rey final by beating Atlético Madrid 1-2 on their ground, the Vicente Calderón stadium. However, after the final whistle one of the goalscorers, Luis Suárez, showed precaution and assured the tie was not finished: “We knew that we had to score a goal on this field and we managed to score two, but I believe there’s nothing settle”, said the Uruguayan.
“We had to be focused and energized from the get-go, it’s normal the rival is going to pressure you, playing at home. In this kind of matches, Atlético de Madrid forces you to take a step back”, admitted the Blaugrana striker. “But we have to keep in my mind the great first half we made, in which we could score another goal”, said Suárez.
Another solid performance came from the boots of Javier Mascherano with his hard-working attitude and sacrifice in midfield. The Argentinian conceded that “it has been a very tough match, I was expecting something like this. In recent years, we have struggled to get positive results here and that’s why we are pleased with this victory”. He then assured that “we have played a superb first half. In the second half, we didn’t control the match and they had a good dynamic, that’s why we suffered until the end. The entire team has made a great effort and had an amazing attitude. Now we have to give our best next week for the second leg game at the Camp Nou”.
The two away goals are a nice reward for the Blaugrana squad efforts but certain sensation lingers that Barça had the chance to finish off the tie with their outstanding first half, as expressed by Sergi Roberto: “We have got a nice result, although we have played better in the first half and we controlled the game with the 0-2 in the scoreboard; if we had scored the third goal, that was it. In the second part, they made several offensive changes and crossed many balls over the area. We will be studying the mistakes we made but the outcome was good”.
The right back explained how Barça is using the long passes from Cillessen as an alternative to the opponent’s high pressure: “It’s a resource that we have when they’re pressuring our defensive line. If we send the long ball, we generate parity in the rival’s defensive line and create chances, it’s a good solution when we can’t play from the back”, said the Catalan footballer.