Despite a 2 goal lead against Real Sociedad last night in their first leg draw in La Copa del Rey, Argentine coach Gerardo Martino believes that the Catalans are not home free just yet and the tie still remains in the balance.
It was Sergio Busquets who found the net for Barça just before the half time whistle, while an own goal from Real Sociedad’s Enaut Zubikarai effectively put the dampeners on the spirits of the club from San Sebastián in the 60th minute to hand the Catalans a 2-0 victory.
Speaking at a press conference after the tie, Martino said: “We didn’t dominate to the point that would allow us to think we could have killed off the tie.”
Martino fielded a virtually identical lineup to the team that lost by 3 goals to 2 at the weekend to Valencia C.F. José Manuel Pinto did step into his usual Copa del Rey position replacing stopper Victor Valdés, however.
The coach went on further: “The players that played against Valencia needed to play in this match because if I had taken any of them out perhaps I would lose a player for the future.”
Overall the Argentine coach was pleased with his side’s performance on the pitch, especially after the shock defeat at the weekend to Valencia.
“We played a good game, we didn’t take any risks,” said Martino. “We were a bit apprehensive because of Saturday’s game against Valencia.”
He was also content with his “team’s organisation against Real Sociedad, their eagerness to score the second goal and their patience”.
The coach added: “We scored twice, probably thanks to chance and not because of how we played. He’s always performed well since he arrived at Barcelona.”
Star player Messi was not able to find the back of the net last night and the coach was not concerned in the least.
He concluded: “I’m not worried about Messi scoring goals. He had three clear chances today, and one of them the keeper saved from point blank range – he’ll score again soon.”