Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa lavished praise on Barcelona after seeing his side destroyed 5-1 by Tito Vilanova’s men on Saturday.
Goals from Gerard Pique, Adriano, Cesc Fabregas and a double by Lionel Messi ensured Barca remained 11 points ahead of Real Madrid on the table, while also breaking the record for the best start to a Liga season in the process.
Bielsa admitted his side simply could not match Barcelona, and feels the Catalan giants have lost none of their intensity in the transition from Pep Guardiola’s tenure to that of Vilanova.
“We tried to play football, and build quick attacks without losing possession,” Bielsa told reporters after the game.
“The big difference between them and us is that our attacks never thrived. Every time we lost the ball, we felt dizzy trying to dispossess them.”
“They are the same (Guardiola and Vilanova’s Barcelona sides). The same power, the same style, and the same sense of constant unpredictability.”
Athletic host Sparta Prague in the final round of Europa League group fixtures on Thursday, although Bielsa’s men – finalists last season – have already been eliminated from the competition.