BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 21: A FC Barcelona supporter looks on prior to the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou on April 21, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. Real Madrid CF won 1-2. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Despite the loss to Real Madrid, the general feeling around the camp feels more like embarrassment than sheer disappointment. Sergio Busquets' quotes have already been taken out of context and will be thrown around freely by the pro-Madrid media in an attempt to show what sore losers this club is, despite what Guardiola, Carles Puyol among others have said. For a lesson on humility, Pep Guardiola's press conference is a must-read/watch, but if you would like to know how to sensationalise quotes, take a look at Goal.com.
The manager recognized that the defeat to Madrid means that "a competition that we fought for has slipped away. The players gave it their all and because of that they know that they have me," he said. Guardiola said that his objective is to "recover the players ahead of the match on Tuesday. I have the impression that they’ll get up. They know how important it is"
Turning to Europe, Puyol believes: "we now have to focus on Tuesday – it’s a competition we are keen to win and we are close to another final." Explaining the tactics the team need to employ against Chelsea, Puyol went on: "we have to be very aware of their counter attacks - I can see it being a similar game tactically to the Madrid match". There’s still the chance that the two Spanish giants could meet in the Champions League final and for Puyol: "that would be a very attractive final, we’d have to see what would happen then, but for now we are centered on Tuesday".
With 13 trophies won out of the 16 they have contested, it’s clear that Guardiola’s team haven’t given the fans too many disappointments. The defeat against Madrid will of course be one, but if we look back at the way the team have reacted to bad results in the past, the omens are positive for this week’s game against Chelsea.
"We did what we could, we were faithful to our style of play and I believe that we played better than they did," the Spain international is quoted as saying by his club's official website. "Real Madrid closed themselves off at the back the whole game. They didn’t play at all. They just looked for the counter, but sometimes football is like that. They did very little to win the game. It’s a bit unjust, I hope Tuesday isn’t like today ..."
‘For the sake of the game and for football in general, I hope Barcelona
win in the Nou Camp. I love teams who attack. Chelsea did nothing but defend with nine players and kept lots of players in the middle of the park. But this tie could have been over by now. I expected Chelsea to lose by a big figure. And it could still have been 5-1 to Barca at the end.
Chelsea expect to be bolstered by the return of Didier Drogba
for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final in Barcelona on Tuesday night despite the Ivorian still being troubled by a knee injury sustained during last week's narrow victory over the holders.
UEFA have appointed Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir to take charge of Chelsea's Champions League semi-final second leg clash with Barcelona on Tuesday. Cakir's last refereed an English side in November when he took charge of Manchester United's clash with Benfica while he also sent off Mario Balotelli
in Manchester City's 1-0 win over Dinamo Kiev last season.
In making eight changes for a critical London derby yesterday, Chelsea decided to put most of their eggs in the Champions' League basket, hoping Barcelona do not make a Spanish omelette with them on Tuesday. The choice of personnel signified that bridging a seven-point gap with Arsenal was not regarded as a realistic proposition, but they were still satisfied with a draw from what was surely one of the dullest of the 150 League meetings between the clubs.