Barcelona boss Tata Martino said his team was ‘obliged’ to win following the 4-1 first-leg Copa del Rey defeat of Cartagena.
A brace from Pedro and strikes from Cesc Fabregas and youngster Jean Marie Dongou sealed a 4-1 win for the Catalans after Fernando had caused a scare by putting the hosts ahead on 16 minutes.
“We were obliged to win bearing in mind our recent performances, and we did,” Martino told the post-match Press conference.
“Cartagena played a very intense game and did a lot of running. In the opening 10 or 15 minutes their attitude was good but later, when they had control of the ball, they had no energy left.”
The Argentine also commented on Jordi Alba’s return to action after injury and Robert Song stepping into a new role in the Barca midfield
“We had planned for Jordi to play less but in the end he lasted about 80 minutes without any problems, although we need to make sure he feels confident when he kicks the ball.
“We we are all very happy for him and the situation couldn’t be better for the second half of the campaign.
“As for Robert, playing as a holding midfielder is not the same as being half of a midfield pivot pairing.
“At times he did well but at others he was turned inside out and was having trouble finding an alternative option with his passing,” said Martino, who explained why he decided to retain Jose Pinto in goal for the tie.
“Pinto needs to have some continuity and that’s why we chose not to play another goalkeeper.”