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Martino: Barca Failed In First 20 Min

Barcelona coach, Gerardo Martino, has admitted his side lost their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Atletico Madrid in the opening 20 minutes.

Atletico scored the opener after just five minutes and had a couple of more opportunities before Martino’s side found better into the game.

“Results happen for a reason. When Atlético were the better side, they scored their goal,” the Argentine said.

“We also had opportunities and just one goal from us would have changed the course of the game.”

“At certain points, we couldn't do the things (we wanted) because of how our opponents played. Atlético kept a lot of players near their penalty area – they did that very well and that made it hard for us to find any space.

Martino insisted he tried to set up his side the way they had success over the past 10 years, but the old 'tiki-taka' winning formula didn’t work against their rivals.

“Barcelona's style is different to Atletico's approach. We played as we have done for the past ten years, with the formula that led to our success. Tonight, there were a big difference between the teams in the first 20 minutes; then we had our chances,” he continued.

“In the beginning, the game was as Atlético like it: long balls, rebounds to pick up. We weren't short of intensity, but we couldn't string together four or five passes. We expected to have more control and we failed to do that.

The Argentine also confirmed that it’s his job to pick up the players and help them focus on winning La Liga and Copa del Rey.

“We're all sad because we had high expectations. Now we have to talk to the players and move on. We have to keep fighting in the two competitions that remain for us now: the league and the Copa del Rey," Martino added.

The defeat ensured that Barcelona didn’t progress to the Champions League semi-final after they had done so for the past six consecutive years.

What’s your take, have opponents found an answer to Barcelona’s tiki-taka style? Have your say in the comment section below.


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