Champions League: Defeat At Milan, Hard Blow —Puyol


FC Barcelona captain Carles Puyol admitted the 2-0 defeat by AC Milan in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 was a “hard blow” for the former champions.

Puyol, however, said that the return leg at the Nou Camp will “be like a final for us”.

“A 2-0 defeat is a hard blow for us. We knew before the match that it wouldn’t be easy to face a team like Milan and in fact they played with a very strong fighting attitude. They were very aggressive and they almost did not allow us to play. We were in control of the game most of the time but we could not create real chances to score.

“Instead, the Rossoneri were not only very solid in defence, but also managed to score twice. They did not create many chances but they still managed to score twice. We knew we were facing a difficult game.

“In the second leg in Barcelona we must play a different way. To come back after such a result will not be easy, but we have confidence in our own qualities and in the additional drive that will be given to us by our supporters in Camp Nou.

“I cannot say in percentage terms how much chance we have of qualifying, but it will be a hard task indeed. To get to the next stage, we shall give our best and always remain confident. We are used to playing big games, it will be like a final for us. We know what we will be facing in Barcelona,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Sulley Ali Muntari has hailed his Milan teammates and “the most important goal of my career” after a 2-0 victory over Barcelona.

The Ghanaian found the net along with Kevin-Prince Boateng in yesterday’s match. “We played as a team, we listened to our coach, he did a fantastic job in how he sent us on the pitch,” grinned Muntari.

“We were very disciplined and managed to close every angle down so they couldn’t penetrate us. If you play without concentration against them, they harm you and they make you suffer.

“It was the most important goal of my career. It is a good lead, but the Camp Nou is not easy. You can have a 5-0 lead but it is not safe as Barcelona have amazing players.

“We have two goals to our advantage and we will do our best to do well.”

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