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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I

worry about these types of conclusions on a teams brilliance when it was very clear that Argentina had 4 chances where they really should have scored and on chances alone then it would have been the more pragmatic Argentinians who would be the best in the world. I like the Germany team but this just shows that even with planning it relies on a great deal of luck and finding your opponents at just the right time.

dryice
Reward At Last For Years Of Careful Planning

W

e all know the British public don't have the patience to plan for 14 years. No chance. As soon as our young players don't win the world cup they get harrassed and abused to the point of mental breakdown. No, England likes to react to failure by sacking the manager and tearing up their best laid plans in favour of something shiny and new to keep the knee jerkers happy.

HarryBoulton
Reward At Last For Years Of Careful Planning

G

lad Messi was player of the tournament, there was no-one more deserving. Except Robben. And James Rodriguez. Or Muller and half the Germany team etc etc

sailingmagpie
Golden Ball award for Messi

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