The Barça manager said that his team remained true to their style of play, and that they beat a “very strong” Atletico Madrid side in a “very tough” match.
Guardiola said that Messi is the type of leader that “steps forward when things get complicated”.
Josep Guardiola considers that his team remained true to their style of play this Sunday at the Vicente Calderon. Barça’s victory allows the team to take the three points in a “very complicated” match against a “very strong” opponent. The Barça manager believes that his team passed “a very good test” against an Atletico Madrid side that was “really good at the start of the second half,” when the home side scored the equaliser, and that Barça did well to “react.”
The manager had special words of praise for Lionel Messi, who broke the deadlock with a clever free kick: “there are different types of leadership. When things get complicated, Messi takes a step forward. Throughout these past four years, this player has always done that.” When asked about the Argentine’s absence in next week’s match against Sporting, Guardiola jokingly said, “everyone asks me to give him a break and now he will rest, just like Pepe will.”
The win over Simeone’s team keeps Barça 10 points adrift of Real Madrid. In reference to the existing point gap, Guardiola said, “I don’t think we will win the league, but we’ll compete to [be the team] that we have been in the past.” He added, “it was a complicated match against a very intense rival, and the pitch condition was very poor, but we survived. Also, Victor once again showed that he’s a quality keeper.”
Guardiola said that Barça’s intention is to continue competing in each match: “I have the impression that we will not win La Liga, the point difference is very big, these games give us the opportunity to be the team we are, to play like we have. We will continue competing in every match.” (via FCBarcelona.com)