Guardiola hails ‘courageous’ display as Barça go top

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
pep guardiola barcelona

Pep Guardiola (Photo: Tsutomu Takasu)

Pep Guardiola has praised his side’s performance after Barcelona became the first team to take any points away from the Bernabéu this season following a comprehensive 2-0 win against Real Madrid in El Gran Clásico‎.

Lionel Messi and Pedro netted either side of the break to ensure Barça ended the weekend top of the La Liga table, three points ahead of Los Blancos and now with a head-to-head advantage.

With seven games remaining in the Spanish domestic season, Guardiola said he was ‘satisfied’ with the result, but stressed that the title race is far from over.

“We are very satisfied, very happy,” said the 39-year-old. “It’s a big win and we’ve taken an important step, even though there are still 21 points to play for.”

“We have come to the ground of the league leaders and we have won a very significant game.”

The Barça coach praised his Madrid counterpart, Manuel Pellegrini, and explained he believes that tactical preparation gave his side the edge on the night.

“The work that Pellegrini has done in the league is outrageously good. 77 points is outrageous. I wish him all the best.

“It takes a lot of courage to win here as no one had ever done so it this season [in the league]. We’ve studied a lot of Madrid’s games and we know that they are deadly on the counter attack. We were a bit jittery and the pitch was very slippery at the start, but the goal calmed us down and we had more control from then on.

“We talked a lot about being brave and to put pressure on [Iker] Casillas. That was what we were looking to do right from the start.

“They have a lot of depth to their game and they are a team who have scored on average three goals a game. Madrid are a frightening team but today, they’ve only had one or two chances and those were created because we lost the ball.”

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