Barcelona full-back Dani Alves refused to make excuses for his team after Athletic Bilbao clinched the Supercopa de Espana on Monday.
A 1-1 draw at Camp Nou was enough to see Bilbao secure their first trophy in 31 years, winning 5-1 on aggregate.
Lionel Messi had pulled a goal back for Luis Enrique’s men before half-time, but a red card to Gerard Pique shortly after the break ended any chance of a comeback.
Dani Alves was unsure what went wrong for Barca, who were coming off their UEFA Super Cup success.
“Perhaps we didn’t get enough things right in the two games. Perhaps we didn’t compete as hard we can,” he said.
“We paid the price for the European Super Cup match, and didn’t have much time to prepare… There were all those things but there is no place for excuses.”
Pique was shown a straight red card for protesting a lineman’s decision in the 56th minute of the second leg.
“Pique was furious about the situation,” Dani Alves said.
“The referee made a decision that did us damage, but that was no excuse either.”
Midfielder Sergio Busquets said being reduced to 10 men had just about made an already difficult task impossible.
“We tried everything right until the end but it wasn’t to be. I think the game was decided in the first leg and I can only congratulate Athletic for winning the title,” he said.
“We scored in the first half and created chances. We started the second half well, we were on fire, but Pique’s red card changed the game because it was as good as impossible with us a man down.”
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