Barca defiant despite defeat
Jordi Roura's words were bullish but the way that he delivered them was not. "We have total conviction that in Barcelona we'll go through," said Barcelona's assistant coach.sports Updated: Feb 22, 2013 01:59 IST
Jordi Roura's words were bullish but the way that he delivered them was not. "We have total conviction that in Barcelona we'll go through," said Barcelona's assistant coach.
"This is a bad result but this team deserves for people to believe in it. We are completely convinced: we'll be at home, with our pitch and our fans. It is not impossible: we can turn this around perfectly." He spoke quietly, flatly; as flat as his team had been. Down by the players' entrance there were hugs and handshakes. Giampaolo Pazzini pointed to the lump on his head, turning a shade of purple, and grinned. He touched it gently; a war wound he was proud to wear, it no longer hurt. Carles Puyol, the man with whom he clashed, said that four staples and two stitches did not hurt as much as the defeat.
"What a blow," shouted Marca, who extended their analysis to Spanish teams in the last 16 of the Champions League more generally: four games, not one victory. Of all of those defeats this was the most unexpected, and the reaction was not just about the result. Roura complained about the pitch repeatedly, calling it "unworthy of the Champions League" and Pedro was unhappy about the referee Craig Thomson but Gerard Piqué was clearer in his assessment: "There is no excuse. We are Barcelona and we have to learn from this. We played badly."
Sure, there is talk of a comeback but the future is conditioned by the past, which does not invite optimism. On Thursday morning AS's cover lead on "Trick or Treat"; Sport said "Comeback needed"; and El Mundo Deportivo called for "heroics at the Camp Nou." Yet, to judge by the normal narrative, it's not Barcelona's thing: it is Real Madrid that make much of their remontadas, of the Spirit of Juanito, Madrid not Barcelona that revel in the epic.