He was hardly heard because it was suggested that he was no longer interested in a "minor" competition and that it was assumed that Barça had thrown the Cup in the first leg of the quarterfinals, when the team fell 2-0 at the Sánchez Pizjuán. with a most bizarre alignment. But Valverde It was diaphanous. "This game is a challenge for us", he started in the second leg of the second leg; "And we know that when the match requires it, the team always takes a step forward." Said and done because Barça was a cyclone, football to the approach that subjected the opponent to kneel with a set incontestable.
"After the first leg, somebody thought it was not important for us, but I already said that we would try to come back and that's the way it was," Sergi Roberto defended, in a blow that shows that the team felt hurt by the mass accusation of laziness a competition that they have conquered in the last four years. "It's a team of winners. We are used to these games and very happy for how the game has gone, "replied Alba without wanting to enter the rag. But Messi was clear. "Perhaps my message of the beginning of the season was misinterpreted -" this year we are going for the Champions League, that beautiful cup ", he expressed as if it were the priority – and that's why we said that we shot the Cup, that we did not want it …" , he began, with a veiled smile; "We want everything and we will try. We are the Barça. We do not throw anything. " This was clarified on the lawn.
The night started well for the Barcelona, after Promes gave a stitch to Messi inside the area. To everyone's surprise, however, it was not La Pulga who executed the maximum penalty, since Coutinho approached him to ask for his turn. He accepted the 10 as he did with other colleagues before, especially when they were going through bad times, such as Ibrahimovic, Neymar, Luis Suárez and now Coutinho.
"A great gesture"
"He came from kicking against Levante on the way out and we arranged that he felt like it. He kicked it, he did it and I'm happy because that's where everything started, "Messi resolved. "It came out naturally," added the Brazilian, who did not miss the shot from 11 meters; "With that gesture, Leo shows how great it is." Valverde understood it as well: "It's a great gesture because Philippe needed that responsibility and then the joy for it." And, happy to recover another player for the cause, the coach added: "Coutinho He has taken responsibility and has taken a step forward. " Among other things because then scored another header, in a well plate after a lateral center Luis Suarez. "I tried and things did not go well. But I never stop working hard. I'm happy to score and help, "agreed Coutinho himself. "What we want is that he is happy because he is a very important player for us," Sergi Roberto finished.
Cillessen also left the mat with a smile from ear to ear, hero stopping his first official penalty outside the penalty shootouts. "It has been the key to the game," said Valverde. "Cillessen is very important and very loved by the wardrobe. He has to stay because he is a great goalkeeper. The game has changed, "acknowledged Alba. "If Jasper had not stopped the penalty and that previous shot by André Silva, the game would have been different," added Sergi Roberto.
It was a round night, also from the stands. "It looked like a Champions League game because of the will of the people," he said. Messi. "There has been an atmosphere from beginning to end. We always say that we are much more fearful with the push of the fans, "finished Valverde. But, also hidden, was his reflection, his prediction: "I already said that this team takes the step when it has to give".
Cillessen had been shot 25 times in official games (not counting the ones in the heats), either with the NEC Nimega shirt, either with Ajax, or with the Dutch team. To his misfortune, he did not stop any, although one was stamped on the stick and another two went off. The last, one of Gameiro in the Cup last year.
With Barça also faced a wheel of maximum penalties in the Cup of Catalonia last year against Espanyol. Darder kicked him out and Jurado stopped him. But it was not an official competition and it seemed that Cillessen had a sambenito with the 11 meters, to the point that Van Gaal changed it for Krul after finishing the extension of the 2014 World Cup to Costa Rica. Gafe to which Cillessen rebelled against Banega, who was stopped by the penalty.