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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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

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