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Barca will attack Real Madrid, Martino promises

Gerardo Martino has no intention of shelving Barcelona’s attacking mentality in next week’s vital Clasico encounter with rivals Real Madrid.

The Barca coach witnessed his side ruthlessly tear Osasuna apart in a 7-0 thrashing at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Lionel Messi led the way with a hat-trick that saw him become Barcelona’s all-time leading goalscorer in official competitions and friendlies, surpassing Paulino Alcantara’s record of 369.

Alexis Sanchez, Andres Iniesta, Cristian Tello and Pedro also got in on the act in a sparking attacking display.

The win eased some of the pressure that had mounted on Martino following three defeats in six league matches previous to the Osasuna fixture.

Next up for Barcelona is a trip to the Bernabeu to face Carlo Ancelotti’s table-toppers, who hold a four-point gap over the Catalans.

And Martino intends to attack Madrid from the start as Barca look to reel the capital club in at the top.

“I don’t want there to be any doubt about the way we’ll play in the Bernabeu,” Martino said.

“We won’t change the performance from the way we’ve played today.”

On Messi’s record, he added: “There are no words left for Messi, he will continue to break records.”

Brazil international Neymar was omitted from the starting XI, and did not even feature off the bench, after a week in which Martino had admitted the Brazilian’s form may have been affected by the ongoing row over his move to Camp Nou.

Explaining the decision, Martino said: “There’s been a problem with a lack of continuity. It seemed more prudent to give minutes to Pedro and Alexis.”

Sun 16 March, 2014
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