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Barca struggled, admits Guardiola

SoccerNews in La Liga, UEFA Champions League 10 Apr 2011

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Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola admitted his side’s 3-1 win over bottom side Almeria was not without its difficulties.

Having gone a goal down, Barca hit back to claim the three points and maintain their eight-point lead at the top of the La Liga.

“They have a good defensive structure and because of that, we struggled a lot,” Guardiola said.

“In the second half, we improved, but these games are always dangerous and there were things that didn’t go well for us.”

Guardiola also heaped praise on World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, whose impact stretched beyond his goal-scoring capacity.

“Messi has been very incisive and very dynamic, more than just his goals. We have no doubt about it.”

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta said it took a big effort to topple their less-fancied opponents.

“We had to react very quickly as it started to become very difficult, and we kept pushing until we got the reward,” he said.

“We kept on trying all the way to the end and we finally obtained the three points. It became very difficult after Corona scored but we eventually got the job done.”

Iniesta also denied that Barca were already thinking about the potential semi-final match-up with Real Madrid in the Champions League.

“There is still a long way to go, but first we will face the Champions League match (against Shakhtar Dontesk).”

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