Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao coach Luiz Felipe Scolari feels his side should be proud of their performance against Barcelona irrespective of their 3-0 defeat, stressing they still did better than Real Madrid last month.
Barca cruised past their fierce rivals in the Clasico on November 21 with a 4-0 victory, inspired by a double from Uruguay international Luis Suarez.
He was in fine form again in Japan as he opened the scoring in the opening 45 minutes, before netting two more after the break to complete his hat-trick and send the Catalans through to the final of the Club World Cup.
“We lost 3-0, but it’s not much different to what has happened to other big clubs. At least we didn’t let in four like Real Madrid,” Scolari told reporters.
“I’m very proud of my players and I can only congratulate them. They played at a very high level, they are improving every day and now we have the chance to finish third, which would be a source of pride for the club. We lost to a fantastic team.”
Barcelona had to make due to without the services of Lionel Messi due to illness, but Scolari feels his absence did not influence the outcome of the game.
“Messi’s absence was a pity for him, but in terms of the game it didn’t change much,” he added.
“I said the other day that Barcelona are the only side who could get over the loss of a player like Neymar. With Messi the same thing happened, only Barca can handle two absences like that because they have 24 or 25 extremely good players.”