Guardiola: “We’re playing to win and to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals”
The Barça manager will not instruct his team to play defensively to protect the 1-3 lead they have over the Bayer Leverkusen. Guardiola admits that the Champions League “is a beautiful competition that allows us to take a break from the Spanish League”. On Piqué’s controversy related to the referees’ actions, Guardiola completely agrees with the FC Barcelona’s stance.
Barcelona (FCB).- Despite the 1-3 result in the away leg, Pep Guardiola doesn\u2019t believe the tie against Bayer 04 Leverkusen is over. The FC Barcelona manager reminded the packed press room of how difficult it was against Real Madrid in the return leg of the Spanish Cup, despite winning 1-2 at the Bernabéu. \u201CThis year\u2019s trap is that we\u2019ve earned a better result than last year,\u201D he said. Guardiola said that \u201Cwe must play a good game; we can\u2019t go out to defend, we have to try to win and qualify for the quarter-finals.\u201D
Aware of the Leverkusen's pace
The Barça manager is very aware of the dangers that Bayer 04 bring to pitch. \u201CTheir pace, their arear play, dead balls, that's what makes them dangerous.\u201D Gaurdiola talked about Bayer 04\u2019s game plan in the second half at the Bay Arena to highlight what his team should expect tomorrow: \u201Cwhen we let them run like in the second half [of the away leg], they\u2019re stronger. We have to try to slow them down a bit and command the game in our side of the pitch.\u201D Guardiola is wary of the team led by Robin Dutt, who said that his team has nothing to lose and everything to win in the FC Barcelona vs Bayer Leverkusen game: \u201Clike any good German side, they never give up on anything. It appears as though they\u2019re out of the match but suddenly they create goalscoring chances.\u201D
A break from La Liga
Guardiola has the chance to take his team to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the fourth year in a row. The manager recognised that the continental competition is good for his team: \u201Cit\u2019s a beautiful competition that allows us to make a clean break from La Liga. We\u2019ll try to stay in the competition by playing a good game.\u201D
He agrees with the Club\u2019s stance
\u201CI completely agree with Toni Freixas (the Spokesperson of the FC Barcelona\u2019s board),\u201D said Guardiola when asked about the Freixas\u2019 press conference. \u201CWe aren\u2019t saying whether we agree or not on if Piqué should be punished, we want to know what the rules are. It appears as though the Board never does anything right, but we just want to know what criteria are used by the Committee to ban players.\u201D
On Gerard Piqué\u2019s statements after he was ejected from this weekend\u2019s match, Guardiola believes that every player should be held responsible for what they do. \u201CIf you limit them in the press room, you limit them on the pitch.\u201D
Spanish Cup final in Atlético de Madrid\u2019s satadium
The RFEF designated the Atlético de Madrid\u2019s Vicente Calderón as the venue for the Spanish Cup final. The Barça manager said that \u201Cif the other finalist wasn\u2019t Barça, I\u2019m sure Athletic Club would have played in the Bernabéu\u201D (Real Madrid\u2019s stadium).