Barcelona will need goals to progress: Guardiola
MILAN: Pep Guardiola said his Barcelona team will need to score at least two goals at the Camp Nou next week if they are to oust AC Milan and reach the Champions League semi-finals.
The Italian and Spanish champions played out a 0-0 draw at the San Siro here on Wednesday, leaving next week’s quarter-final second leg finely poised.
And having failed to snatch an away goal to take back to Catalunya, the Spaniards’ boss is worried that one goal at home won’t be enough.
“I think we have to score more than one to go through and we’ll try to do that,” he said.
“Scoring away gives you a lot, but they were lucky because they didn’t even get one free-kick around the box or a corner.
“They’re a very strong team and I imagine one goal won’t be enough.
“The (Nou Camp) pitch will be better, it will be faster and I hope we’ll play well.”
Like Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger in the previous round, Guardiola was particularly critical of the San Siro pitch, which gets played on twice as much as most grounds as it’s shared by Milan and city rivals Inter.
“Like us UEFA want a spectacle but if you don’t have the conditions it’s difficult and you have to overcome the pitch’s condition,” said Guardiola.
“It’s not Milan or Inter who are the problems because I’m sure they want to play on a good pitch, it’s the stadium’s problem.”
Although they failed to score, Guardiola insisted that a draw away from home is a good result.
“At the beginning of the season if you had offered me a Champions League quarter-final with a 0-0 draw away I would have signed for it, and even more so against Milan,” he said.
“They’ve won seven European Cups, they won their league last year but we came here and were our usual selves, we played football as we usually do.
“They didn’t have many chances, although (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic should have scored.
“We conducted ourselves well, it’s the halfway point, they have their chances and we have ours.”
Milan coach Massimiliano ALlegri said his side now have a slightly better chance of going through than they did before the match.
“I’m satisfied because the lads played well, they interpreted the game as they did,” he said.
“We pressed them high up the pitch and defended well in our half.
“The result gives us the knowledge that we’re going to Barcelona (still in with a chance), we have a difficult match ahead of us but we know we can get two results from three (a win or a draw).
“It’s very difficult to close the gap to Barcelona in this moment but we played really well.
“And to not concede will improve our self-confidence and self-esteem, although it will be very difficult at their ground.
“But we can go through.”
Guardiola seemed buoyed by the fact that Milan were so happy with a home draw in the tie, but he said nothing has changed at the club since the 1980s.
“I admire their faith and self belief but it was always like this with the Milan of (Arrigo) Sacchi and (Fabio) Capello so they’re happy with this 0-0,”he said.
“It’s a great eulogy for us and what we’ve done in the past that they’re happy.
“They know that if they score, we need to score two and if they score two then we need three.
“But we’re used to playing to win, we know it will be difficult.”