Barça hopes to rediscover scoring touch in Manchester
First leg in Camp Nou stadium ended 0-0, meaning that the Spanish team must either win or produce a tie with goals in Manchester next Tuesday.25 April 2008
MADRID - Barcelona took a belated stride toward its best form in Wednesday night's Champions League semi-final against Manchester United, but the soccer club's players and coaching staff Thursday reflected on the fact that their good performance had not taken them closer next month's final.
Despite almost constant pressure from Barcelona, the first leg in its Camp Nou stadium ended 0-0, meaning that the Spanish team must either win or produce a tie with goals in Manchester next Tuesday.
"We realised that we needed to play a match like that," defender Rafa Márquez said on Thursday. "We had to go for it, give it everything we had to gain an advantage. We have to carry on in that vein," the Mexican added after admitting that Barça had allowed its form to suffer due to off-the-field problems this season.
"We can't do anything about the past and we have to look forward," he said.
Having regained some sort of stability with the exclusion from the team of unsettled Brazilian star Ronaldinho, officially listed as injured, Barça's biggest problem now seems to be scoring goals.
After United's Cristiano Ronaldo had missed a third-minute penalty, Barcelona enjoyed almost constant possession, but made few clear-cut chances. Barcelona has scored just three times in its last five games, seeing its Liga title chances slip away in the process.
"They have more to worry about than we do," said coach Frank Rijkaard about the return leg, confident his team will score an away goal in Manchester.
[El Pais / J. B. / Expatica]