Tata Martino reflected on Barcelona’s attitude in defeating Cartagena and reflected on Pedro Rodriguez and Neymar in particular.
The Catalans ran out 3-0 winners in the second leg of this Copa del Rey Round of 32 clash to defeat their Segunda B opponents 7-1 on aggregate.
Goals from Pedro and Neymar either side of a Mariano own goal determined Tuesday evening’s result.
“The most positive aspect was the seriousness with which we have played the game. Maybe in terms of the movement we were not fine, but I believe that basically we played well. We were solid, we have properly respected the opponent in this game.
“Why did I use first team players? I turned to them because I saw that those were the players we needed to play.
“Cartagena played very well and the game was the one we had to play. A line of four, another of five and only one in attack. The spirit of the players in the game was very good and I liked the predisposition despite the advantage we had from the first leg.”
Pedro opened the scoring and played 76 minutes, but has recently struggled for regular gametime.
“I always end up repeating myself in case of the boys who do not play more. Pedro does not need to be a world champions, win the European Championships, there are so many things he has done with Barca.
“But I have a lot of strikers, Messi, Neymar, Alexis, Tello. It is hard to leave him out because then he only gets eight minutes against Villarreal.
“He is in good form and precise in front of goal. I do not need to evaluate Pedro, he alone gives us many things.”
Neymar played the full 90 also.
“Neymar will not play on Sunday [through suspension] and has already been permitted to travel back to Brazil on Thursday. He will go to Brazil then and he will have 10 days off.
“Any time I have a player who can be given an extra day off because he has yet to rest, because of the Confederations Cup, playing with Santos and then Barca, then I will look to give him that rest.”