Guardiola wants no talk of ‘Clasico’ quartersJanuary 5th, 2012 - 6:23 pm ICT by IANS
Madrid, Jan 5 (IANS) FC Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola doesn’t want to talk about the chance of another meeting between his side and eternal rivals Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey.
Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Osasuna in the first leg of their last 16 cup tie sets up the prospect of a quarter-final clash with Madrid, who defeated Malaga 3-2 in their cup game 24 hours earlier, Xinhua reported.
Should both sides progress they will meet again in the last eight of the competition, but despite his side’s comfortable victory with two goals each from Cesc Fabregas and Lionel Messi, who was ruled out with flu earlier in the day, Guardiola refused to talk about the prospect of two more ‘clasicos’.
“Our tie would be over and done with if we didn’t have to go to Pamplona for the return leg. We all remember what happened last season when we had to go and visit Betis,” said Guardiola in reference to last season’s Copa del Rey, when Barcelona defeated Betis 5-0 in the first leg, but suffered 3-1 in the second leg.
“We have to finish both our ties first,” was all he would say when asked about the prospect of a Barca-Madrid quarter-final.
Guardiola also explained why Messi had been ruled out of the game by the club only to play as a second half substitute.
“He came in the morning and he didn’t feel well and had a fever, but three hours before the game he called me and said he felt better. Even so, I thought it better that he started on the bench. We are a good team without Leo, but we are a better team with him in the side,” said Guardiola.