Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino expressed his delight at last night’s win although admitted that he was worried in the early stages of the game.
Levante took the lead last night in the second-leg of La Copa del Rey through a Lukas Vyntra goal but the Catalans had a 4-1 cushion to fall back on from the first leg just in case things got difficult. They needn’t have worried as they beat Levante 5-1.
“I was worried in the first 15 minutes,” explained the Argentine coach in a Press Conference after the encounter.
“Not only for the goal against us but because we lacked intensity.
“Then we played some 70-odd minutes with good intensity and ability to score a goal. “I’m satisfied.”
The coach also showed off some new tactics in last night’s game. Alexis Sánchez was used as a striker in the number 9 position instead of his usual right wing role.
Martino says it’s an idea that he may use in future matches, too.
“Alexis is a player who plays with such intensity that it is possible he’ll play more games in the position,” Martino told reporters.
Andres Iniesta, who’s been out for the last three weeks, made a welcome return in front of the home crowd. Martino played the midfielder for 45 minutes before withdrawing him to bring on Pedro for the start of the second half. Martino stressed that it was all part of his plan, even though Iniesta is fully recovered from his injury.
“We had talked with Andrés about playing 45 minutes.
“I wanted to give him minutes but felt it was prudent to play 45. He’s already full recovered.”
Martino had kind words for the Azulgrana fans who turned out to see the tie despite the awful weather in Barcelona. He finished off by saying that he doesn’t feel the urgency to extend his contract after it was reported that Bartomeu, Barça’s new president, wished to do so.
“It’s not true we’ve spoken about it,” Martino said.
“I’m very happy with the support that I have and I don’t need a gesture of that nature.
“I feel supported but we haven’t talked about it.”
Last night’s goals came from Adriano, Puyol, Alexis (2) and Fabregas. Sergio Roberto found the net at the wrong end of the field with an own goal after 9 minutes.