Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova has thrown his support behind Victor Valdes after his Supercopa de Espana blunder.
The Barcelona goalkeeper took one touch too many five minutes from time and allowed Angel Di Maria to charge the ball down and fire into an empty net to pull a goal back for Real Madrid. However, Vilanova refused to condemn him.
“I have not talked to Valdes because there is nothing to talk about,” Vilanova told a Press conference.
“In fact, I’ll encourage him to keep on doing it. Over the years he has helped us a lot by coming out with the ball from the back.
“One day it comes off, another it doesn’t, but I’ll take the positives out of it. He has come out lots of times and greatly helped us.”
Vilanova also had words of praise for both Pedro Rodriguez and Alexis Sanchez.
“Alexis played well and opened up the pitch for us to make rapid switches of play. He had a great game, as did Pedro.
“Pedro is well both mentally and physically as he had injuries last year that affected him a little. He is a very reliable player who helps out with his goals and consistency. He always scores,” added Vilanova.
The 41-year-old was also asked about Gerard Pique’s more advanced role and whether he had been given strict instructions to attack.
“He has always been the kind of player who, when he gets into the centre of the pitch, can open up down the wings or continue down the middle.
“The important thing is not to limit players as others can see what they are doing and help them out.”
Finally, Vilanova admitted the slender 3-2 advantage going into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu makes the tie far from over.
“It’s always good to win but the result is not definitive either way. Against a team like Madrid it is never finished.”