Vilanova: Zaragoza came to play

Tito Vilanova has praised opponents Real Zaragoza for ‘coming to play’ at the Camp Nou on Saturday, whilst also commenting on Barcelona’s tiredness.

A number of the Catalans’ squad involved in Saturday evening’s 3-1 win had travelled in midweek for international duty, with the Spanish players flying out to Panama.

“They’ve worked hard, I noticed the weariness of the international travel. Sometimes people forget that six of the starters were playing in Panama,” commented the Coach at the full-time result.

“It is not an excuse, but it is fair to say these things because there has been an overseas trip and on Tuesday there will be another big game after another long trip.”

Vilanova also took time to match that point with praise for Zaragoza’s set-up going into the game.

“As I said to the players and as I did to you too, Zaragoza wants to play good football. When you put people like Movilla and Apono in the middle and also Victor Rodriguez and Montanes, you see that they want to play.

“It seems as though more and more teams simply don’t to play and for us it’s good that they played for the three points and didn’t close themselves off at the back.

“We started well, with some chances, but the fact that they wished to play and that we were tired meant that we were forced to play for a long time in our own field.”

Vilanova disagreed with counterpart Manolo Jimenez that the team were only winning because of Lionel Messi.

“Leo is decisive and great teams have great players, but it is not just him that wins games. We need for all players to take control of the ball, people to move… To say that Messi has won the game simplifies it a lot.”

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