Guardiola: “We must play two good matches or we won’t go through”
The Catalan Manager believes that the AC Milan vs FC Barcelona Champions League quarter-final match will test Barça’s resolve “to perform well in another tie”. He hopes to “have long spells of ball possession” to deactivate Ibrahimovic and the Italian’s offensive play, as they are “one of the best teams in the world”.
Barcelona (FCB).- Barça Manager, Josep Guardiola, is aware of everything that surrounds the Champions League playoff that kicks off this Wednesday against AC Milan. History, tradition and a lot of top footballers at the height of their careers. \u201CSan Siro is one of the great stadiums in European football and AC Milan is one of the best teams in the world. In the quarter-finals of a competition like this, with an opponent like this one, you must be aware that have to play two excellent games or you won\u2019t go through,\u201D said the Catalan Manager in the press conference held before the AC Milan vs FC Barcelona game.
Ibra is \u201Cunbeatable in the air\u201D
The Blaugrana Manager praised AC Milan\u2019s team. \u201CI expect to see the best Milan. They have great combative play, they\u2019re good in the air, and they dominate long passes, thanks to Ibrahimovic,\u201D said Guardiola. Guardiola said that the ex-Barça player \u201Chas a lot of solutions. He\u2019s an important player for them. When he receives the ball, the whole offensive mechanism of the team snaps into play. He\u2019s unbeatable in the air. We must try to deactivate him and AC Milan through ball possession.\u201D
The 2-3, forgotten
AC Milan and Barça know each other well thanks to the two games in the Group Stage, the first ended in a 2-2 draw at the Camp Nou and a 2-3 victory in Italy. Guardiola talked about Barça\u2019s Group Stage game at the San Siro: \u201CIt didn\u2019t go too badly. There\u2019s somewhat of a bad memory of how we played here. It\u2019s true that during certain periods of the game they have more chances than we would have liked, but we cannot forget that they have a team that can create chances. We also created quite a few chances that day.\u201D
Guardiola does not want to look beyond tomorrow\u2019s match, which he considers \u201Cmore important\u201D than the return leg. He also refused to talk about the possibility of winning the treble: \u201CI don\u2019t look beyond the match against Milan. The year we won the treble I never thought about it. If we don\u2019t win on Tuesday or on Saturday, we can say goodbye to two titles. We have to take this one step at a time.\u201D
Allegri: \u201CWe\u2019re ready\u201D
Massimiliano Allegri, AC Milan Manager, believes that his team must have an offensive mindset if they want to have any chance of reaching the Champions League semi-finals. \u201CWe have to score. I hope we\u2019re learned something, we know how they play more or less. It will be a beautiful match, very difficult on a psychological level,\u201D he said. Allegri also highlighted the importance of \u201Cno committing errors\u201D that could aid Barça in creating goalscoring chances.
On the Thiago Silva\u2019s absence, injured this weekend against AS Roma, Allegri admitted that he\u2019ll be missing a key player: \u201CHe\u2019s a champions and we\u2019ll miss him, but Nesta is in reasonable form and luckily we have other defenders that can play. I\u2019d like to face Barça with a complete squad, but we\u2019re ready.\u201D