Despite feeling dejected about dropping points last night, FC Barcelona players once again showed immense optimism in the face of discouraging results.
Pedro Rodriguez (24), who spoke first, admitted, “the draw was a hard blow” to take.
“It leaves a very bad taste in our mouths. That’s because even though the match had been very open, we had the lead up until the final minutes.”
“Espanyol was great tonight, and it showed in our failure to dominate like we usually do.”
And as for the controversy, Pedro said, “It all happened so fast. I thought it hit his hands but, well…, the referee didn’t call it so there’s nothing that we can do about that.”
Gerard Piqué (24) also found the result disappointing given the proximity of the equalizer to the final whistle. “A draw is not much but we cannot deny that this is a very tough ground to get points from. Today, Espanyol was great and made it very difficult for us. Of course it’s always hard to accept when you lose two points, especially when it seems we have everything under control towards the end.”
Piqué spoke frankly of the referee’s decision. “When it happened the referee has so many players in front of him, so perhaps he may have missed it. He didn’t call it and that’s that.”
Looking at the glass half-full, Piqué recalled earlier in the season the same thing was said of their demise. “When we were six points behind, people said we had lost the league, but we made up ground on Madrid, and now they are saying the same again. There are still a lot of league games left and everyone will again be dropping points, so the only certainty in all of this is that we will never let our guard down.”
Coming off an effective display in net, Victor Valdés (29) said, “That was a great game played by Espanyol, especially in the second half. But we almost had victory in our grasp. Pity their goal came toward the end and we had virtually no time to put ourselves ahead again. The margin for making errors is getting smaller with each game, and it is always a shame to lose points in games where you are ahead on the scoreboard such as this. But, well … we’ll just have to keep on working as there’s still a lot to play for.”
Cesc Fàbregas (24) echoed his comrade´s optimism. “This has been a very tough match but we’ll keep fighting until the end.”
Daniel Alves (28), whom Espanyol’s fans targeted with racial abuse said the jeers “didn’t bother him,” adding, “I can’t hear anything because I’m so focused when I’m on the pitch.”
Speaking of the result, Alves said, “We were not at our best and we paid dearly. Although it is pretty obvious a lot of that is down to Espanyol, who should be credited for it. They pressed us hard, cutting off passing lanes, closing down spaces and making it hard for us to coordinate our movements.”
Image credit: Manel Montilla – EMD
Source: El Mundo Deportivo