Tito Vilanova has reflected on equalling Barcelona’s club record for a best start to the season, saying that his players fully deserve the accolade.
Barca won on Saturday night to make it eight wins and a draw to begin 2012-13 with, which drew them level with the club record that Louis van Gaal’s side achieved in 1997-98.
“Taking 25 points from 27 is not easy, but we deserve it. We have always fought to the end, we have been bold and deserving of these points,” commented the Coach afterwards.
“It is very important to start the season well, we are happy, we have had some difficult games away, but we are deserving of these results, some we could have drawn, but we ended up winning them. There still remains much to do, though.”
Vilanova then turned his attention to Rayo Vallecano’s tactics and how the game panned out.
“We knew that Rayo are a daring team that puts you under pressure, that it was not going to be easy and that if we were going to play then it would not be easy, we had to think very fast and in the first 15 minutes we had little possession.
“When at 0-2 the game changed. Paco risked more, then we had some opportunities. I congratulate Rayo for squeezing us up.
“The difficulty of the game is a credit to Rayo, their players were holding on to ours, we had long spells of possession but it was difficult to keep the ball.”
David Villa opened the scoring with a neat finish from a Cesc Fabregas through-ball.
“We’ve been adjusting well, David is in the process of getting the minutes and finding his pace. I think he is adjusting well and the national team will also be feeling better each day, he scored a goal and we are happy for him.”
Lionel Messi netted twice more too.
“We are happy for Leo, he has scored goals, but I’ll look at the detail in the 89th minute – he raced 30 metres to help out defensively. I love the goals, but that more.”
The team’s clean sheet was notable for its achievement with Sergio Busquets and Adriano playing as the makeshift centre-back pairing.
“Sergio has that pause and calmness. Adriano has had a great game, he is a clear example of when a player is fit and wants to do well.
“He has two qualities and concepts, he is very fast, which dominates these defensive mechanisms and even in his passing game is he doing well. This is a matter of the mind and if you can adapt then you are mentally tough.
“I knew that Rayo would squeeze us a lot and Adriano and Busquets are both familiar with these tactics. If we had played further back on the pitch then Rayo may have played differently too.”
The Coach was also asked of using Martin Montoya again.
“We rely a lot on Montoya, if there is a team to rely on their youth team the most in the last 15 years then it must be us. Montoya played today, if there wasn’t the trust in him then he would not have played.
“Jonathan dos Santos is a sight to see in training every day, he struggles in getting minutes because he is at a high level but has to compete with players in the same position.”