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Puyol pleased to make return

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol was pleased to get through his first competitive match in seven months in Saturday night's goalless draw at Osasuna, but admitted the result left him deflated.

Last Updated: 20/10/13 at 15:30 Post Comment   

Carles Puyo (r): Back after seven months

Carles Puyo (r): Back after seven months

The Catalan club saw their perfect start to the Primera Division ended at eight wins as Osasuna dug in for an unlikely point against a much-changed Barca line-up.

Puyol's inclusion was the most notable amongst those as the 35-year-old was handed a start on his return from injury.

The Spain international was able to report no ill-effects as he finally put the frustration of his long lay-off behind him.

"These last couple of months have been complicated, but I've been training with the team for days," he told the club's official website.

"I'm pleased with how I felt on the pitch, but not with the final result."

Barca went scoreless in a league match for the first time in two years as boss Tata Martino rested the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Lionel Messi, who came off the bench, ahead of this week's Champions League trip to AC Milan.

The point was enough though to send Barca clear at the top, after Atletico Madrid lost their own perfect record with a 1-0 defeat at Espanyol.

"We knew that this is a difficult stadium to play in, we weren't accurate in front of goal and our final touch wasn't precise," Puyol said.

Full-back Martin Montoya praised Puyol's return, saying his presence had boosted confidence in a backline that has been beset by injury in recent weeks.

"Puyol played a great match, hopefully he can play the rest of the season because he's important for us," he said.

"We tried to win from the first minute, but in the end it wasn't meant to be. This is a difficult stadium to play in.

"I'm pleased for the chance I was given, I'm aware that I'm playing for a big team and that I compete with (Dani) Alves, who's a beast, but I have to take advantage of my chances."

Martino named his 22-man squad to take to San Siro on Sunday morning with key defenders Alves and Gerard Pique, along with Sanchez, in line to return.

Jordi Alba and Ibrahim Afellay are still sidelined by injury while Isaac Cuenca is the only player dropped from the squad.

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

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