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Jordi Alba: "I still have the scars from when Essien kicked me"

However, the full-back did not make too much of the incident. "I'm also a player that can get hot headed very quickly, these games are played in a very tense atmosphere."


Jordi Alba: "I still have the scars from when Essien kicked me"

Jordi Alba has admitted that Barcelona are still "irritated" by blowing their lead against Real Madrid on Wednesday and drawing the game 1-1 and complained about his treatment during the game at the hands of Michael Essien.

Barça took the lead in the second half through Cesc Fábregas and had a number of chances to score again, with Pedro missing a glorious chance and Alba himself being denied by Madrid goalkeeper Diego López, who was making his debut for 'Los Blancos'.

"The team are annoyed, but we had a lot of chances," the full-back reflected on Thursday during a public relations exercise for Adidas.

"It's true that Madrid also had chances but we feel as if we could have scored more goals and put us on the road to the final."

Alba had a physical battle with Michael Essien, who was playing for Madrid as right-back on Wednesday, and the Ghanaian trod on his ankle during the second half.

"Yes I still have the scars, but I'm not going to show them," he said sarcastically, but played down the significance of Madrid's physicality.

"I'm also a player that can get hot headed very quickly and then I'm fine again. At the end of the day everyone has their own way of playing, but these games are played in a very tense atmosphere."

Alba pointed out that Barcelona made fewer fouls than Madrid during the game, but finished with the same number of yellow cards as their opponents. However, he admitted:

"It's a very difficult game to referee due to all the tension. But it's over now, there's no point going over the refereeing decisions now, we have to look forward to the second leg and try and play in the way we know best, always having the ball and trying to score goals.

"It was a great game but in the second half there were moments when Barça controlled possession and were dominating Madrid. But of course if you make just one slip up they will create a chance immediately, because they are very quick on the counter attack, but the team played very well and deserved more. They have very quick players who are lethal on the counter attack, but we were very strong in defence and we were able to stop them. It's a shame we let them equalise right at the end."

The full-back insisted that no-one in his team thinks the title race is over yet, despite Barça having a 15 point lead over Real Madrid and an 11 point gap with Atlético Madrid.

"Of course the points gap is very large, but we don't think that we have won the league yet, not at all. Everyone still talks about Madrid and Barcelona, but Atlético are having a very good season and not many people are talking about them."

And Alba spoke about what it has been like to return to Barcelona after having played in their youth set up when he was a teenager, including what it is like to play in the same team as Leo Messi.

"I didn't know before I arrived but he has treated me phenomenally, and he has a very good relationship with everyone in the dressing room. He does everything so naturally, and what makes him so great is that he wants to better himself with every game he plays."

Estadísticas AS.com