LIGA BBVA | BARCELONA 2-3 VALENCIA
Martino’s post-match verdict: “I’m very worried”
“I worry every time we lose. It’s difficult to find an explanation to what happened today but we will battle right to the bitter end”.
FC Barcelona coach Tata Martino began his post-match press conference with a few words about Luis Aragonés. “Before we start with the questions, I would like to send my condolences to the family of Luis Aragonés, his passing is a huge loss for the football world,” said the coach before attending reporters’ questions on this afternoon’s 3-2 defeat to Valencia.
Uncharacteristic display: “It’s difficult to find an explanation to what happened today – conceding a goal just before half-time knocked our confidence and the second goal completely destabilised us. Before that I was fairly relaxed out how the game was going and my sole concern was locking down the initial advantage we had. But football matches are not over until the final whistle is blown; after the first half hour it looked like we had the game in the palms of our hands but later we were punished for the mistakes we made”.
Message to the players: “I have told them that we have to continue as we have been doing, that we might be knocked off the top of the table but we have to continue battling”.
Blow to Barça’s title chances: “We will just try to regain any ground we lose with our direct rivals. We handed Valencia options and they took them. We have to keep going and look forward and not let it appear that today’s defeat has hurt us more than it has done”.
Lapse in concentration: “Conceding when we did affected us, as we weren’t expecting it. Our rivals show courage, pride and when they are given the opportunity to punish their opponents, they do. If you have the chance to get a second goal, that is what you must aim for – we didn’t today and that’s why the game slipped away from us”.
Barça’s reaction: “We pushed but with a man less, we couldn’t turn the situation around. It’s not a problem because on other occasions, we’ve managed to do so but we couldn’t today against Valencia. I worry every time we lose, I worry a lot. Against Ajax, we didn’t just lose, we lost playing badly but against Valencia, we lost after enjoying a positive start and that worries me, as well as the players”.
Psychological effect of conceding before half-time: “It’s a difficult moment to let in a goal and even though we managed to pull level, we let in a third. Valencia were very effective today”.