Martino stunned by Barca bow

Gerardo Martino admits he never expected to enjoy such a stunning debut as Barcelona coach but warned against getting too carried away with the 7-0 mauling of Levante in their Primera Division opener.

Last Updated: 19/08/13 at 10:38 Post Comment

Gerardo Martino: Signalled intent early

Gerardo Martino: Signalled intent early

In his first competitive match since replacing Tito Vilanova this summer, Martino saw his side produce a remarkable first-half display at the Nou Camp as they raced into a 6-0 lead before the interval following goals from Lionel Messi (two), Alexis Sanchez, Dani Alves, Pedro Rodriguez and Xavi.

Barca only added one further goal in the second half with Pedro notching his second, but it was nevertheless a brilliant start to the campaign for the reigning champions.

Martino said: "The game surpassed all my expectations.

"The concepts that we've talked about with the players, which aren't new things but ones that've been stored away, we've returned to do.

"Our central-playing midfielders went deep, we switched up direct play with build-up play, these are good signs despite the fact that we've just started. One of the aspects we've insisted on the most is pressure. I'm very satisfied."

Martino knows it is early days though and feels there are still things the reigning champions can improve on yet.

"We can be more intense. We can prolong our pressure and we can continue to look for alternatives when we go forward. We need to play on the inside, on the outside, the right and left backs need to come forward, the central players need to get into the area..." he added.

"It's very premature to make an overall analysis after only 90 minutes. We have to play more matches in order to truly see how we are doing."

Veteran midfielder Xavi, whose first-team debut for the Catalan giants came 15 years ago, was similarly pleased with Barca's performance.

He added on his club's website: "I'm very happy with the way we've started.

We've recovered the mechanism we had lost. We've recovered our high pressure like Tata Martino wanted.

"We've regained this aspect of our play and that's what we were looking for, we trained hard throughout the whole pre-season."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

still can't see the Phil Jones thing that some people go on about. Whenever I watch him play it's a repeat of headless chicken meets a gurning Bambi on ice for 90 minutes.

diabolicaldiaby
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

P

robably the first list I've come across in a long time where I agree with a large majority of what was written. Can't agree with everything though, Zaba has had an awful season by his standards, I'd put Monreal (a player who I've never rated) up there, gotta give credit where it's due, he's really stepped up his game.

scroteymcbooger
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

S

ome top analysis here..... UNITED WOULD BE TOP IF IT WEREN'T FOR ALL THEM GAMES THEY LOST

benvo81
United Progress Stifled By Bottom-Half Record

Footer 365

Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid: Carlos Tevez penalty hands Juve first-leg lead

Juventus will take a narrow lead into their Champions League semi-final second leg with Real Madrid after a 2-1 win in Turin.

Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini says sorry to supporters

Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini has written a letter to fans apologising for recent poor results.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has hip operation in United States

Liverpool's England striker Daniel Sturridge has had an operation on his injured hip.

Mail Box

How Is Coutinho Rated Above Cazorla?

We have a mailbox packed full of views on Santi Cazorla, what Arsenal and United need this summer, the idiocy of St Totteringham's Day and rather a lot more...

Arsenal Need Three. These Three...

One mailboxer has the realistic answers to Arsenal's summer transfer needs. We also have plenty more on Newcastle fans, handballs, Chelsea selling and Johnny...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company