Guardiola denies Barcelona were sending a warning to Madrid

08:03, November 22, 2010      

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FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said on Monday that his side had not set out to send a warning to title rivals Real Madrid when they defeated Almeria 8-0 on Saturday night.

Barcelona produced an astonishing display of football to win away to Almeria just a week before Real Madrid visit the Camp Nou Stadium.

Messi scored a hat-trick, while Bojan added two goals, Pedro and Iniesta one each to add to an own goal to give Barca their biggest away triumph in 50 years.

With Madrid also winning on Saturday and Villarreal drawing with Valencia, the results mean that Madrid and Barca are already eight and seven points respectively ahead of third place and this season's two ‘Classicos’ between the sides are likely to be title deciders.

Barcelona receive Madrid in the Camp Nou stadium on November 29, but Guardiola insists his players did not set out to intimidate their title rivals with their thrashing of Almeria.

"We still have to play a Champions League match (away to Panathinaikos) before we entertain Real Madrid. We didn’t play this game with the intention of sending a warning to anyone, we played with the intention of fulfilling our obligation, whilst respecting our rivals," said Guardiola in Sunday’s edition of sports paper AS.

The Barcelona coach left Gerard Pique on the bench to avoid the risk of his key defender picking up a suspension ahead of the Madrid game, but added that Pique had also been suffering light physical problems.

Barca’s win also led to the sacking of Almeria coach, Juanma Lillo, who is a friend of Guardiola, and the Barca coach had words for the now former Almeria trainer.

"We spoke after the match and I wished him luck. The situation is as uncomfortable for him as it is for me. He is a fantastic person and I also think he is an excellent coach. Until they played us, Almeria had the third best defense in Spain," pointed out Guardiola.

The Barcelona coach added that he had told his players that in spite of their easy win, they had been told to respect their beaten rivals.

Source: Xinhua


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