‘One of the proudest days in my four years at the club’ was how Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova described the 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid.
The Catalans were two goals down inside the opening 20 minutes of the Supercopa de Espana second-leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, and had Adriano dismissed just before the half-hour mark.
However, a Lionel Messi free-kick on the stroke of half-time gave 10-man Barca hope before a courageous second-half performance saw them push Jose Mourinho’s men all the way to the final whistle.
“The second half of the game in which we attacked with 10 men until the end was surely one of the proudest days in my four years at the club,” Vilanova told a Press conference.
“In the warm-up before the game Dani Alves felt some discomfort so we decided not to risk him. I wouldn’t say it set the tone and it wasn’t as if Madrid were all over us.
“They surprised us with two balls over the top, although admittedly [Gonzalo] Higuain had already had a chance, but they were successful and scored.
“You always know Madrid have the capacity to score goals as they have some very good players."
Even so, Vilanova maintained the result will have no influence on the rest of the season.
“This match will make no difference to the rest of the campaign and we have another La Liga game on Sunday,” he added defiantly.