Roura upbeat despite PSG draw

Barcelona were left licking their wounds after the 2-2 draw at Paris St Germain in the Champions League, but assistant coach Jordi Roura insisted the result was still a good one ahead of next week's return leg at the Nou Camp.

Last Updated: 03/04/13 at 12:39 Post Comment

Jordi Roura: Not too unhappy with result at PSG

Jordi Roura: Not too unhappy with result at PSG

Barcelona were twice pegged back in a dramatic quarter-final first-leg that also saw the Catalans lose attacking talisman Lionel Messi to a hamstring injury that will be assessed later on Wednesday.

Messi gave Barca the lead prior to his departure, a goal created by a wonderful Dani Alves pass, while PSG equalised in controversial circumstances when an offside Zlatan Ibrahimovic fired home.

Xavi's late penalty looked to have ensured a first-leg lead for Barca, but Blaise Matuidi's last-gasp deflected effort made it 2-2.

The pain of the result and Messi's injury were compounded by the news that Javier Mascherano would miss the next six weeks with knee ligament damage after being forced off in the last 10 minutes.

It all amounted to a bruising night for the Catalans, but assistant coach Roura said: "It's a good result. We're a bit sad with the result seeing how the match played out, we had the game won despite the adversities."

"There were some questionable calls, but the result is good."

Roura added: "We're going to approach the return leg like we always do, we have to try to score to make the match more difficult for them. They will feel the weight of the stadium and of our fans. We will go out to win the match."

Roura would be the first to admit that two away goals in the bank heading into the return leg is far from the worst scenario, but the fitness of Messi will be a genuine concern with whispers of a three-week lay-off circulating after the game.

The Argentina forward was replaced at half-time at the Parc des Princes after holding his right hamstring and will undergo further tests to determine the extent of the problem.

The 25-year-old, who at the weekend became the first player to score against every other side in the Spanish top flight in successive matches after netting for the 19th consecutive league game, appeared to suffer the injury when curling a shot over the bar shortly before half-time and was a passenger for the last few minutes of the first period.

"Messi has a small issue with his hamstring and we don't know how severe it is and Mascherano sustained a MCL tear in his right knee," Roura explained.

"If they can't play it will be negative for us, but other players will step up and they will prove why they deserve to be here. We have a deep roster."

Dani Alves, who earned much acclaim for his sublime assist for Messi's opener, echoed Roura's view that the squad should be strong enough to cope with any injuries.

"They are two very important players, but we have to be strong enough to overcome their absences," the Brazil full-back said.

Reflecting on the tie, he added: "We have to be focused until the end, we have to keep our intensity up.

"They created chances out of nothing and they were capable of scoring with a little bit of luck. We knew that the tie wouldn't be decided until the return leg, we'll have our chances of going through"

"We have to be intelligent in the return leg, we have to play like we always do. We want to win."

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sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

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