Barcelona were left licking their wounds after the 2-2 draw at
Paris St Germain in the Champions League, but assistant coach Jordi
Roura insisted the result was still a good one ahead of next week’s
return leg at the Nou Camp.
Barcelona were twice pegged back in a dramatic quarter-final
first-leg that also saw the Catalans lose attacking talisman Lionel
Messi to a hamstring injury that will be assessed later on
Messi gave Barca the lead prior to his departure, a goal created
by a wonderful Dani Alves pass, while PSG equalised in
controversial circumstances when an offside Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Xavi’s late penalty looked to have ensured a first-leg lead for
Barca, but Blaise Matuidi’s last-gasp deflected effort made it
The pain of the result and Messi’s injury were compounded by the
news that Javier Mascherano would miss the next six weeks with knee
ligament damage after being forced off in the last 10 minutes.
It all amounted to a bruising night for the Catalans, but
assistant coach Roura said: “It’s a good result. We’re a bit sad
with the result seeing how the match played out, we had the game
won despite the adversities.”
“There were some questionable calls, but the result is
Roura added: “We’re going to approach the return leg like we
always do, we have to try to score to make the match more difficult
for them. They will feel the weight of the stadium and of our fans.
We will go out to win the match.”
Roura would be the first to admit that two away goals in the
bank heading into the return leg is far from the worst scenario,
but the fitness of Messi will be a genuine concern with whispers of
a three-week lay-off circulating after the game.
The Argentina forward was replaced at half-time at the Parc des
Princes after holding his right hamstring and will undergo further
tests to determine the extent of the problem.
The 25-year-old, who at the weekend became the first player to
score against every other side in the Spanish top flight in
successive matches after netting for the 19th consecutive league
game, appeared to suffer the injury when curling a shot over the
bar shortly before half-time and was a passenger for the last few
minutes of the first period.
“Messi has a small issue with his hamstring and we don’t know
how severe it is and Mascherano sustained a MCL tear in his right
knee,” Roura explained.
“If they can’t play it will be negative for us, but other
players will step up and they will prove why they deserve to be
here. We have a deep roster.”
Dani Alves, who earned much acclaim for his sublime assist for
Messi’s opener, echoed Roura’s view that the squad should be strong
enough to cope with any injuries.
“They are two very important players, but we have to be strong
enough to overcome their absences,” the Brazil full-back said.
Reflecting on the tie, he added: “We have to be focused until
the end, we have to keep our intensity up.
“They created chances out of nothing and they were capable of
scoring with a little bit of luck. We knew that the tie wouldn’t be
decided until the return leg, we’ll have our chances of going
“We have to be intelligent in the return leg, we have to play
like we always do. We want to win.”
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