Barca coach forgets Real defeat

UEFA Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a late winner for 10-man Real in El Clasico this past weekend, an unfamiliar feeling for a team that has been breaking all sorts of records this season.

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“We did not know what a defeat was like, for a long time,” he said. “But we know how painful it is to lose, and that will be a stimulus to win again … we need to keep doing what we were doing well and see in which areas we need to improve…

“For me we played a very good first 70 minutes, played a spectacular first half,” he said. “After we conceded the goal, we lacked precision, as can happen. They have quality and were precise in their transitions.

“We will not change our way of playing, to have the ball in opposition half. That means opponent can break on us, although we want to have the least number of transitions as possible. But we are not machines, there can be mistakes, positional or decision-making.

“I have blind faith in my players, this path has won many trophies over the years, and we must stick to it.”

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The Barca head coach will not dwell on the setback, as he knows he has arguably tougher matches in store against Atletico in the UEFA Champions League, starting on Tuesday night.

“They are a difficult team, Atletico are top - with a clear philosophy of play. They are dangerous when they press high, or when they drop back. They are dangerous on the counter, at set-pieces, and have a great coach. In their last game they played two forwards, plus a number 10, a 4-2-3-1. Something else for us to consider,” he added.

“That is how they compete with Real Madrid and us, without the same economic resources. They will make things very difficult for us, over the 90 minutes, in both legs.”