Puyol: 'We had a test by fire tonight and the team showed our character. The pitch wasn’t good for our type of play, but the team worked hard today'
Mascherano: 'We fought for this match, they played with a lot of intensity. Draws don’t suit us. If we want to have a chance, we have to win all of our matches. La Liga will be difficult to win. They have a 10 point advantage over us, but we are professionals and we have to keep on fighting. We’ll try to do our absolute best. We can’t allow ourselves to lose focus. We’ll try to win all of our matches until the end of the season'
Dani Alves: 'The Cule supporters need to keep on believing in us. We’ll fight until the end as long as there is a chance of winning. That’s the spirit of this team. We’ll keep on competing. We know that it was a difficult ground. The pitch was almost unplayable. Winning in stadiums like this one makes us stronger'
Victor Valdes: 'Hard-fought victory in an imposing Calderón. We’re continuing our work and we’re earning points to fight for the Liga'
- Brilliant display of strength from the Blaugranas at El Calderon. Atletico de Madrid are a massively improved side since Simeone took charge, much more defensive order and confidence placed on Adrian and Falcao. Barca's win last night can be considered a great achievement.
Today I'd like to point out how every Spanish team seems to be using the 'Kick-them' approach, masterminded by Mou5555inho, whenever they face the Pep Team. It winds me up to see how Mou5555inho and his array of employees/followers have complained so openly, for so long, so many times that the following message seems to have got into everyone's head:
'Barca players are cheating divers. Feel free to kick them as hard as you can. If you get a player sent off, whine in the press conference. The Spanish media will help you spread your feeling of injustice. We'll even tweak video replays to ensure people think you're right and those Catalans are dishonest liars'
Based on that popular assumption, the Atletico Madrid players came out for a dirty fight and didn't hesitate to kick Messi, Busquets, Alexis, Iniesta and whoever was in their way in order to steal the ball and stop the game from flowing. Sure, tackling is part of football, but violence isn't.
Continuing with that theory, it was obvious the official wasn't too accurate when showing Los Colchoneros yellow/red cards, but definitely made an impression when he booked Messi (handball) and Alexis (another handball) despite being 10 metres BEHIND the players in both occasions. I'm amazed at how Spanish refs are able to see through our players' bodies but then fail to send our rivals off for blatantly kicking us to the ground.
There is another very popular tactic to defeat Barça these days: The 'Let-the-cows-eat-the-grass-before-the-match' approach. It has recently worked for Madrid, Getafe, Osasuna, Valencia and others: Whenever you are facing the Pep Team, ensure the pitch isn't watered for at least a week so they can't pass the ball, turning the football match into a wrestling battle. It's unbelievable that the Spanish RFEF allows such deplorable attitudes in what is, supposedly, the best league in the world...
As I have argued many times before, blaming our 10 point distance to Los Blancos solely on the officials and pitch conditions is an inaccurate analysis, but it can't be denied the distance is higher as a result - Even the Madrid-based media agrees, with As.com publishing the difference would only be 3 points if the refs had done their job properly.
Luckily for Cules though, yesterday's peformance showed what we have known all along: if all our players are fit and focused, we are still the strongest team - Los Mandriles will keep barking and, if they're ever in trouble, the RFEF will make sure strange things happen in their favour.
THE SPANISH RFEF AND REAL MADRID SHOULD COME CLEAN AND AGREE TO SHARE THEIR LA LIGA TROPHY!!!!!!
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