squad | 2016-04-14
Post-Match Comments: Atletico Madrid vs FC Barcelona
Luis Enrique: "We evidently aren’t in our best form. But I’m very proud of my players and I apologise to all of the fans for this elimination."
Luis Enrique: "Our target was to retain the title and our hopes were high. We won’t be winning it this year and the team are feeling sad. We always set the highest of targets. Right now we simply have to accept the defeat, understand this as the kind of thing that happens in sport and turn to the other targets that we have on the horizon. We have to improve our performances.
It was the kind of game we expected. We got through the first half without problems and their first goal came out of unfortunate move. We weren’t at our most lucid. This is not our best moment, nor our most effective. We have to lift ourselves because we’ve got two very good challenges ahead of us.
I didn’t expect Atletico Madrid to be tranquil. Their idea of making the most of the few chances they got paid off well for them. They opened the scoring and then did what they are best at, defending in their own half. We were lacking finesse. We were in control of the game but things didn’t work out the way we’d planned. With everything lost, we found it harder and harder. I can only congratulate Atlético Madrid and wish them luck.
We evidently aren’t in our best form. But I’m very proud of my players and I apologise to all of the fans for this elimination."
Jordi Alba: "We have to keep working and be more united than ever, both the team and the fans. I agree that in the first half we spent more time in our own half than in theirs. We knew they would keep it tight at the back and play on the counter attack. We were much better in the second half. We had the possession and generated a lot of chances.
Now we need to think about the league and the cup final. There’s still a lot of the season ahead of us.
Atlético Madrid have been an uncomfortable opponent for all teams for several years. We generally played well. It’s not easy to play against a team that closes up at the back.
At key moments, perhaps we needed that little bit more. But we can still finish the season with two trophies."
Sergio Busquets: "These are very tough games where you pay heavily for any goals you concede, and we paid a lot for theirs. We were much better in the second half. They dropped the intensity and we were able to create much more chances, but in the end it wasn’t to be. What matters in football these days are goals, but we would be wrong top focus everything on the three up front.
It was a clear penalty. I thought he’d given it at first. But there’s nothing we can do now, there is no use complaining.
We hope to go into the cup final in the best possible condition. We’re still top of the league but we’ll have to put everything into the few games we have left."
Javier Mascherano: “It’s a shame, but we have to congratulate Atlético Madrid and wish them all the best. Perhaps we should have scored more goals at home and come to the Calderón with a bigger lead. We controlled the ball but we were missing a bit of clarity up front.
We are not going to feel sorry for ourselves. It’s happened and now we have to look ahead. We have to lift ourselves up, focus hard on the league and get ready for the cup final.
Gerard Piqué: "We knew that Atlético Madrid weren’t going to pressure us much. Griezmann’s goal messed up our plans. This clearly isn’t our best moment of the season. There are no perfect seasons in football. We should congratulate Atlético Madrid for everything they are doing and wish them a lot of luck.
We all try to do our best in every game. We have to win the two competitions we are still involved in.”
Andres Iniesta: "It’s not a question of whether the referee was right or wrong. That would solve nothing. It is difficult to take in because we’re out of such a nice tournament. We controlled the game. In the second half we pushed further up the field because we knew that we needed to score a goal.
We’re not in very positive form. We have to find strength from somewhere because what we still have to play for is very nice too.
Difficult times like this always generate doubts but we have to turn the page and focus on what we have left."
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