Tata: Barca reacted to Valdes blow

Tata Martino has said the reaction of the Barcelona players to losing Victor Valdes for the season was seen in the win over Espanyol.

A Lionel Messi penalty decided the Catalan derby in the favour of the title challengers while Espanyol ended with defender Javi Lopez in goal after Kiko Casilla was sent off for handball.

Speaking to reporters after the final whistle, Martino revealed he was relieved to have taken the points from a tricky contest.

“Derbies are not easy. You have to win but it was a tricky one. Everything is still difficult,” the Coach said.

“There are seven finals remaining in the League. We are very aware of not making the mistakes we did in Valladolid.”

The game was a feisty affair with referee Carlos Clos Gomez showing a number of yellow cards as well as the red for Casilla.

“It was very difficult for the referee,” Martino agreed.

“He decided there was a hand for the penalty. I’m too far away to say [if it was right or wrong.

“I find it regrettable that we don’t talk more about football. I always learn something when we talk about football. It was the same in Argentina.”

Barca nearly gifted Espanyol a way back into the game in the final moments when Javier Mascherano was robbed in his half but Martino was relaxed about the incident.

“Mascherano’s mistake at the end is typical of a team that is committed to holding the ball,” Martino argued.

“We take that risk.

“I reminded the players of our situation before the Clasico before the game. They shouldn’t forget that.

“We have a lot to do after winning the Clasico.”

Martino also paid tribute to Valdes, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the midweek win over Celta Vigo.

“On behalf of everyone I want to give our support to Valdes. We dedicate this win to him,” Martino added.

“This team has become accustomed to bad news and their reaction is always to do better.”

Tags Tata Martino