Roura: Barca were tired

Jordi Roura conceded that Barcelona were tired going into their weekend draw with Valencia, after the midweek Clasico at Real Madrid.

The Catalans dropped two points at Mestalla on Sunday evening and their assistant Coach believed the Copa del Rey semi-final first-leg played on the Wednesday prior had taken its toll.

“We came here with the intention of winning the three points but it’s always difficult to win at Valencia. Overall, I think the draw is fair,” commented Roura to reporters.

“In five years we have won only once. A draw is fair enough. We’re coming off of a very tough match away to Madrid and that, from a physical standpoint, always wears you down.

“There’s no doubt that we were in a tough game and these games always cost. In the first half we struggled to get into the match and in the second we were at a higher level.

“We struggled a bit in the first half and certainly we were lacking a bit of depth. But we created two or three good chances in the second half.

“Valencia pressure you a lot and they don’t let you play. And the game against Madrid has affected us.

“Their intensity made it difficult for us to play our game and it was hard for us to get close to their area. Perhaps we didn’t create a lot of chances and we weren’t as fresh as we have been in the past.”

Even so, Roura explained why the team that began the game featured many players who started the midweek Clasico.

“We knew how difficult this match was going to be and we preferred to go with block of players that have been playing with regularity.

“We had four days to prepare and that’s sufficient time to recover. In addition, we have a long week ahead of us, among other reasons, that’s why we decided to field this team.”

A late save from Victor Valdes denied Roberto Soldado an almost certain winner.

“We’re very pleased with him. He’s the best keeper for us. This Sunday he showed that he’s at a fantastic level and he denied Valencia the winning goal. While he’s with us, he’ll help us.”

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