Martino praises ‘excellent first half’

Tata Martino has praised Barcelona’s ‘excellent’ first half after they defeat Real Madrid 2-1 on Saturday.

The Blaugrana won the first Clasico of the season thanks to goals from Neymar and Alexis Sanchez, and the Coach was delighted to come away with all three points, and especially the performance of the Chilean goalscorer.

“We had an excellent first half,” he told a Press conference. “We played a normal second half and in the last 15 minutes we managed to have more control.

“It’s true that in the first half we appeared to be the team that we have always been. In the second half we weren’t doing a good job and I decided to make the subs that I needed to make in order to improve the team.

“The Song-Iniesta sub was a defensive one, I won’t say that Song was supposed play in the attacking No10 position. It was a way to win the game and I’d do it again.

“Alexis has been doing a great job since the end of last season. If this goal makes the people acknowledge him more, I welcome it. It will impact his performance, he’s always ready.

“He’s having an excellent season.

“I think Neymar’s played better games, but the significance of his goal raises his performance. I believe he’s played better matches.”

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