Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino has stated that the players should remain focused if they are to achieve success at the end of the season. The Argentine was speaking after the 2-0 win over Manchester City in the Champions League. The win has helped them get a foothold in the first leg of the last 16 round in the competition.
They are now favourites to progress into the quarter-finals where they could be joined by the likes of PSG and Chelsea. Barcelona have not been up to their usual high standards this campaign.
This has largely been attributed to the tactics of manager Martino, who has been accused of playing the ball too soon to the frontmen. Martino, however, did not change the philosophy of the team during their visit to the Etihad stadium. Barcelona not only dominated possession, but they also created numerous chances over the course of the 90 minutes. Lionel Messi opened the scoring for the first time against an English club away from home with a penalty. The red card to Martin Demichelis during the build-up only helped the situation for the Catalan club.
Daniel Alves scored a late goal to make the game safe for the club. Despite this commanding position, Martino says that the players should be aware of the threat from City in the second leg.
“For 10 minutes during the first half we lost control a little, but in the rest of the game we did well. We have to remain calm and continue along the same path because there is no time to relax as we must now start thinking about our next game in La Liga. We have clear objectives in each tournament. We can play better or we can play worse than tonight but in no way are we going to relax,” Martino told http://www.sublimeshot.com.