matchdays | 2017-01-30
Luis Suárez: ‘We should have woken up a bit earlier’
Barça drop two points against Real Betis and complicate further their league chances
Barcelona drew 1-1 against Real Betis at the Benito Villamarín stadium after a frustrating performance where the Culés were outplayed by the Sevillan side for the majority of the clash and the refereeing controversies were -once again- the talking point. Nevertheless, after the match, Luis Enrique brazened out the result and said that “we rescued a point and I look at that as a positive thing for us. They were the better team for 30 minutes in the second half, the first half was more level and we were able to salvage a point in the end”.
Luis Suárez admitted as well the team got up to a rough start: “We are aware that we didn’t play our best and we are going to be self-critical. There are two teams playing and we can’t take their merits away. We should have woken up a bit earlier but we did enough to deserve to win. We had a number of scoring chances after going 1-0 down, but that’s football”, the Uruguayan said. “We had to win this game and now we are just going to have to hope that the teams above us start losing”, emphasized Suárez.
Luis Enrique conceded the initial setup wasn’t the optimal to face such a high pressing defense from the Sevillan squad: “In the first half, we didn’t have too many problems and they didn’t really create too much but then neither did we. In the second half, they pressured us high up the pitch and created chances by doing this, because we struggled to bring the ball out from the back and they were the better side. We made a lot of mistakes and we were not at our normal level and that enabled our opponents to grow in confidence”, said the Asturian coach. “Therefore, we changed our system because I didn’t like what I was seeing. We positioned Neymar and Aleix Vidal out wide to give us more width and Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba also got forward. Later on, with the goal Betis sat back more and that allowed us to get around their pressure to reach more into their penalty area”, he analyzed.
Despite the change in tactics, the final scoreboard wasn’t the one the culés were aiming for, as expressed by ter Stegen after the match: “We always play to win but things didn’t go as we had hoped today. However, we need to learn from our mistakes and then look ahead and make sure we get things right in our next match”. The German goalkeeper had a solid performance with vital saves which kept Barça in the game, especially the one against Rubén Castro: “I think I did well in the one-on-one with Castro, because I was looking to see if there was anyone else by him and he was ahead of me”, said the goalie. “It’s good for me to make saves like that but what I really care about is the result. And that was not the result we wanted”, ter Stegen remarked.
Another decisive and controversial incident in the clash was when Barça was denied a clear goal despite the ball crossing the line unquestionably. Luis Enrique kept his cool when asked about this stating that “referees need help, be it cameras or whatever, for decisions which favour us or not”, but Aleix Vidal didn’t bite his tongue about the evident mistake made by the referees: “As for the second goal, you can clearly see that the ball doesn’t cross the line but the first one does. It was a very serious error, but the referees aren’t to blame. If we could use goal-line technology then we wouldn’t be talking about this now.”
The right back admitted that “it wasn’t our best game, let’s not deceive ourselves. The coach tried to correct what needed to be corrected because the team started playing better, you could tell that there was a reaction. Maybe we only started getting into the match after they had scored, but we really should have gone on to take the three points”, Vidal concluded.