The Camp Nou must lift Barça into the semis >> Read My Mind


Guardiola: 'We know that it will be a terrible match. Milan have very talented players and they they defend well'

Guardiola: 'Our fans cannot let us down on Tuesday. They need to come to the stadium and carry us to the semi-finals. These players have done too much to be abandoned. This Tuesday we have a final in our stadium with our people. We need the Camp Nou to be full. We have a chance to go through and between us all I believe it’s possible'

Guardiola: 'Milan’s satisfaction with a goalless draw at the Giuseppe Meazza is the biggest of compliments, although the return match at the Camp Nou will be terrible and there’s no room to speculate. A tie is never finished off in the away leg. However, keeping the condition of the pitch in mind, shooting 17 times is meritorious. Milan have seven European Cups, and we went toe to toe with them'

Guardiola: 'In the world of football, whatever happened before doesn’t matter. We know that it will be a terrible match. Milan have very talented players and they they defend well. This is why our fans need to cheer us on more than ever. We only have one option, and that’s to win - between all of us we won’t fail'

Guardiola: 'My Barça players deserve a lot of credit for playing football or, at the very least, trying. Something needs to be done about the pitch conditions. In the end we adapt to everything, we come and we play. But it’s clearly a problem for the show. It’s also true that to be champions you have to overcome every challenge. We’ve done it in the past and we’ll keep on doing it'

Guardiola: 'being a referee is difficult. We’ve won a lot of things, we’ve drawn and we’ve lost. In the latter two we’ve never talked about the referees. To be Champions of Europe again we must do an even better job'

- Having survived the titanic battle of Milan with a 0-0 away draw, Cule fans have been left wondering whether the glass is half empty or half full. Will yesterday's draw be enough to qualify for the semis? For me, it's clear: YES it will be, mainly based on the fact that Barça was the only team who actually tried for a win yesterday.

Xavi, performing as The Blaugrana Commander, organised the transition between defence and attack with mathematical precision, as he has been doing for a remarkable amount of years now. His constant attempts to connect with Messi through the middle could have opened up the Italian fortress. I'm fully aware it didn't but I'm not worried: Yesterday's clash was only part one of a 180 minute battle. No need to over-react simply because we are qualified just yet. Good things come to those who wait!

As for the clear penalty on Alexis (and the possible one on Puyol!), all I will say is that FC Barcelona has already wasted too much time discussing refereeing 'mistakes' this season. I can obviously not hide the fact that it amazes me how a professional 5th official (the one behind the goal) can fail to see how Abbiati swept Alexis away a mere 3 metres from him. But hey, the tie is not over and looking back at what could have been won't help us move forward.

Considering how tight the battle was last night, the return game at the Camp Nou is, effectively, going to be an even closer contest. Milan's 4+4 defense was ferocious, not giving Messi and co any space to breathe. The Rossoneri must be thinking their plan worked out fine last night, and they're very possibly going to follow the very same script again and hope for the best.

Having said that, I am confident the return leg will be different: One of the key factors will be having decent pitch conditions, where proper football can actually be played. At times, it felt as if Alves was auditioning for the Milanese version of Dancing On Ice. There is no question that there should be a FIFA rule on minumum turf quality, especially when there is so much at stake!

For me, the main difference will undoubtedly be the Camp Nou fans. Playing at home, in front of a roaring home crowd, has historically lifted Barça's performance level, effectively forcing our European rivals into careless mistakes as a result. In the return leg, Ibrahimovic, Seedorf and their Milan teammates must feel us breathe all around them, not letting them think or focus.

It will be then, just then. when Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and the rest of the BEST team in our over 100 years of history will do what they do best: Combine quickly in midfield until our golden chance appears.

In The Pep Team we trust. Win or lose!

TOTS UNITS FEM FORÇA, TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER

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