Celta Vigo boss Eduardo Berizzo felt his side were the equal of Barcelona despite going down to a 1-0 defeat at Balaidos.
Jeremy Mathieu scored a late goal to give the Catalans victory, heading home Xavi Hernandez’s free-kick at the far post, but Berizzo thought his side deserved more from the encounter.
“We put in a good game and reduced Barca’s chances on our goal with only Messi having a couple – one in each half,” the Argentine told a Press conference.
“I think we deserve great credit for our display because we put them under pressure and played with aggression, although we struggled to put away the chances we had.
“We should have scored first but conceded from a free-kick and that’s always a really bad feeling. Until then it was evenly balanced and there was nothing in it. We matched them man for man and I congratulate my players.”
Berizzo believes the key to breaking down Barcelona lies in how teams organise themselves against Luis Enrique’s men.
“If you let their wide players have the ball you need to defend on the edge of your area, so we wanted to pressurise them and win the ball. It was a shame that when we did that we lacked someone up front to finish things off.
“But the match was in the balance until they scored on 72 minutes and I believe we should have won.
“We played the kind of game I had in mind but Barca found a solution from a set-piece,” he lamented.