Despite falling to a second consecutive defeat, Tata Martino defended Barcelona’s performance at Athletic Bilbao, saying he is not worried.
On from seeing their 20-game unbeaten start to the season in all competitions ended in midweek at Ajax, the Catalans saw Iker Muniain’s goal at San Mames enough for Athletic to take the three points in La Liga on Sunday night.
“The defeat has nothing to do with that at Amsterdam,” began Martino in his post-match briefing.
“We had depth but we did not have the precision in our passing to set up the chances, whilst I also think there was a very clear moment that could have changed the game, with Neymar.”
This was in relation to the Brazilian being brought down on the edge of the area by Ander Iturraspe for a booking when there were calls for a straight red.
“Obviously we aren't used to losing – particularly not two in a row. We had been looking to put things right after the defeat in Amsterdam.
“I think things would have been different if we’d scored first – it would have been a different game- We had plenty of opportunities to score.
“We were the better side until the 70th minute. What really hurt us was their goal because we had had moments of control and some penetrating attacks.
“This team know what they have to do and how we have to play. I thought we saw a good Barca here, we came out well from the back – we knew that Athletic would come out and press us.”