Andres Iniesta, Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Seydou Keita and Xavi got the goals for the Catalan giants as they established a firm grip on their quarter-final encounter, with Yaroslav Rakitskiy offering a solitary reply for the visitors.
The 5-1 win against Shakhtar Donetsk was the ninth European win in a row for Barça, something they had only achieved twice before. Barça’s new record dates back to October 20, 2009, when they lost at the Camp Nou to Rubin Kazan, 2-1 in the Champions League. They haven’t lost at home since.
He couldn’t deny that 5-1 was a good result, but Guardiola added that “we have to be very prudent because this is not the final result … we need to keep our feet on the ground. I’m very happy, but I know the job hasn't been done. We have to take this very seriously.”
Villa felt it was Iniesta’s early goal that conditioned the match. But on failing to find the target himself, he said “of course I like scoring, but after winning 5-1 it would be illogical to worry about whether I scored or not … we all know that strikers have runs of good and bad form, if I don’t score, there are others that will”.
Barcelona's attacking masterclass alone won't win them the Champions League: They need Carles Puyol back | Goal
Puyol hasn't featured since January 22 as he combats a knee problem that has escalated from a minor niggle into a season-threatening concern. The 32-year-old has appeared on the cusp of a comeback on several occasions, only for his period of inactivity to be further extended.
“We weren't expecting this,” admitted Lucescu after the match, according to uefa.com. “We have a great team that can play much better than we did. I decided not to close up and defend. I decided to try and play, to catch them out. But when we had a chance to score we missed it and they instantly went 1-0 up with an incredible goal from Iniesta that changed everything.
The Champions League-winning boss has also been linked with Roma, but Guardiola has allegedly already met Moratti to discuss the possibility of taking over at Inter. The 40-year-old recently travelled to meet some friends in Brescia, but also visited Milan to discuss his future with the Beneamata supremo.
Manchester United took a slender lead in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final with Chelsea as Wayne Rooney scored the only goal of the first leg at Stamford Bridge.
Adebayor boosted his chances of earning a full-time deal by scoring twice in Real's 4-0 Champions League demolition of Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, having previously netted just once in La Liga for Jose Mourinho's side.
Lopez underwent an MRI scan on his right knee this week and the result indicated that he'd suffered a sprain in his medial lateral ligament. This means that he is likely to miss the games against Real Sociedad and Espanyol, according to AS.