Guardiola hails Barcelona’s just win over AC Milan
Pep Guardiola was exuberant after Barcelona confirmed their spot in the semifinal stage of Champions League. The Catalan giants reached the semifinals by defeating AC Milan 3-1 in the 2nd leg encounter at Nou Camp.
Lionel Messi scored twice from the spot and Andres Iniesta scored once to put Antonio Nocerino’s away goal to waste after the first leg at San Siro finished with a goalless draw. Manager Guardiola hailed his men over their superb performance and hoped they continued with their impressive form till the end of the tournament.
“We have eliminated one of the big sides in Europe,” Guardiola said. “It has been a very difficult victory. They have had three efforts on goal and we have had 21 and this is against a strong Italian team. If people were expecting a 6-0 or a 7-1, it doesn't work like this. Everything we have done is to win the game.”
Guardiola also defended Barcelona from accusations of receiving beneficiary treatment by referies at Nou Camp. Earlier, Zlatan Ibrahimovic reiterated Jose Mourinho’s claims that Barcelona were awarded unjust penalties on their home ground.
“Ibrahimovic can say the same as Mourinho but we respond on the pitch. They were two penalties,” Guardiola said. “They were fouls in the area and they were given so they were two penalties. This is what I have been taught since I was a child.”
“If Ibrahimovic says it is thanks to the referees then fine, but we have qualified five times and the players speak on the pitch, which is where they should do their talking.”
Barcelona could face Chelsea in the semifinals if the London outfit defeats Benfica tomorrow.
“Chelsea still have a game to play, in the Champions League everything is very difficult,” Guardiola said. “We have to be cautious with Benfica, Chelsea have a very good team but everything is possible.”
Chelsea earned a 1-0 away victory in the first leg of the quarterfinals, therefore even a draw against Benfica would see them through to the semifinals. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are the other teams that would meet in the semifinal stage. This means Barcelona could play against arch rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League final.