Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano was relieved to take an important win from the first leg of his side’s Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona went 1-0 down to a Fernando Torres strike before the Spaniard was sent off for two bookable offences six minutes apart before half-time.
Luis Suarez took full advantage, scoring twice after the break to give the home side a narrow 2-1 lead to take into the return leg next week.
Mascherano told BT Sport: “It was important to win, obviously we had chances to score some more but it’s important to win at home against a team which is very strong in defence.
“We know we have to go to Madrid to do our work and we’ll try to do the same as we did in the second half. That’s the way to try to reach the semi-final.
“I think we had some clear chances to score another goal but the main target was to win. We’ll try to win again in Madrid. We know how difficult it will be but I think we have the quality to play a great game.”
When asked about Torres’ game-changing red card, Mascherano was non-committal, adding: “I don’t have an opinion. We’re focused on the game, we try to be in the semi-finals.
“We’ll do everything to be there.”
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