Villanovense Coach Julio Cobos suggested Luis Enrique’s decision to end their Copa del Rey tie with 10 men showed a ‘lack of respect’ by Barcelona.
Barca won the second leg 6-1, taking the game by the same score on aggregate after a goalless first leg, but declined to bring on a substitute when Jeremy Mathieu went off injured, playing the last 10 minutes a man down.
“Maybe it was a lack of respect but it was their decision,” AS quotes Cobos as saying after the final whistle.
“If it had been 2-1 then a change would have been made. If it was me I would have made the change.
“We gave a good image, especially in the first half. It’s difficult to hold out for too long at the rate Barca play, and we managed to do it in the first half.
“Barca also played well in the first leg but the difference is the space on the pitch. It’s noticeable at Camp Nou. It’s like Oliver and Benji [a Japanese cartoon about a football team].
“Their first was a golazo and we gave them the second. It’s a shame. They responded quickly to our goal.
“We competed well. We were at a good level, we had chances and we got into their penalty area.”
Lionel Messi sat out the game, to Cobos’ disappointment, but the trainer on the whole thanked Barca for their handling of the two legs.
“I understand why Messi didn’t play, though I wish he had been on the pitch,” Cobos confirmed.
“I have to thank Barca for their treatment. They did things like a big club. I also have to thank the Press for their treatment of us.”