PRIMERA MATCH REPORT

Primera Week 21 - 27 Jan 2013 (14.00 UK)
Barcelona 5 - 1 Osasuna
Messi 11, pen 28, 56, 58 (B), Loe 24 (O), Pedro 40 (B)
Camp Nou

Jordi Roura reflected that Barcelona’s 5-1 win over Osasuna was good preparation, but Jose Luis Mendilibar couldn’t look beyond the referee.

Barca ran out convincing winners in this Week 21 fixture, just a few days before they face Real Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final.

“We go to the Bernabeu in a good moment,” commented the assistant Coach, again in Tito Vilanova’s place.

“The best way to approach this match [against Madrid] was to win against Osasuna. I think we’re on the right track.

“Are the players well rested? We’ve tried to rest players over the weeks. I think we presented a good team this evening.

“Could we have rested more players? The best way to go into an important match like Real Madrid is having done well in the previous match. We have done as the game has allowed us.

“Osasuna make it difficult to build up play from behind, but that also means that their defence is higher up the pitch - and that leaves a lot of space.

“We took advantage of that. When we broke through that barrier of pressure, our players on the wings and our forwards had a lot of room in front of them.

“Madrid? It’s very difficult to talk about favourites when it comes to these games.”

Roura was asked for his reaction to Lionel Messi’s four goals on the night, which saw him break a couple more records in the process.

“When you’re with him every day the point comes when these things seem normal. But when you stop and reflect on what has been done you simply bring your hands to your head.

“It seems like he has no limits.”

Alejandro Arribas [pictured] was sent off for two bookable offences inside a matter of minutes during the first half, with both being handballs.

Mendilibar, who was dismissed for protesting the decision. later focused on it in his post-match Press conference.

“It was the same with the last one [match official]. Pending clarification on the criteria on what is and is not bookable for handballs and what can be considered involuntary, this will always be controversial,” he told reporters.

“Whilst it can be that one referee can act differently to another, it is also that the same referee, as happened today, will act differently in one game.

“My expulsion? I told the fourth official only what I saw and was threatened with being sent off. You’ll see what was said in the record.

“The referees ask for us to be calm about them, but they do not know how to stay quiet themselves.”

The Coach also refused to suggest that the whole thing would have changed the result too much.

“I will not say that when it was 1-1 that we had unnerved them. They do not get nervous at all, because they always play the same way.

“They would probably have made sure with a second or a third goal, but with the penalty and the red card the game no longer existed, and that’s a shame.”


Arribas sent off 27 (Osasuna)

Football Italia website