Barcelona, Manchester City look to bounce back
Gerardo Martino says FC Barcelona must avoid the mistakes they made on Saturday as they defend a 2-0 lead against a Manchester City FC team also beaten at the weekend.
FC Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino hopes his team can put domestic disappointments to one side and pick up where they left off against Manchester City FC in their UEFA Champions League round of 16 decider.
Barcelona's visitors also suffered a surprise defeat at the weekend, but Rubén Cousillas – who will deputise for suspended City manager Manuel Pellegrini – says the frustration felt after their FA Cup elimination is "forgotten" as they seek to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit away to "the best team in the world".
Gerardo Martino, coach
After the match in Valladolid I said we made mistakes but under different circumstances – because all our defeats this season have been different. There's not a specific reason for us being inconsistent. We need to be more consistent at this stage of the season to maintain our chances of winning all three competitions [Liga, Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League].
We have talked a lot individually and as a group, but this is a different competition, we have a positive result behind us and we played well in Manchester.
I don't think the players are not motivated. Every season the players know they have to fight to win a trophy – they know the club and they know what's expected, so I don't need to give them extra motivation. We made lots of mistakes against Valladolid and that isn't normal for this team.
We have to think that ten or 12 days ago, we played a very good match against Manchester City. I don't see why we can't do the same tomorrow and I'm sure we will play well. We have to separate the league from the Champions League and we are at an advantage, so Valladolid has to be put to one side.
Saturday: Real Valladolid CF 1-0 Barcelona (Rossi 17)
Valdés; Alves, Piqué (Sergi Roberto 72), Mascherano, Adriano; Fàbregas (Alexis Sánchez 61), Busquets, Xavi; Neymar (Tello 74), Messi, Pedro.
• Third-placed Barcelona fell four points behind leaders Real Madrid CF after their second Spanish Liga defeat in three games.
Jonathan Dos Santos (knee) remains sidelined. José Manuel Pinto has been included in the squad following a bout of lumbago.
Rubén Cousillas, assistant manager
It's difficult to say when we will score a goal because Barcelona are the best team in the world with the best players in the world. All clubs go through tough times at some point in the season, but I don't think that will be a determining factor tomorrow.
The decisions are taken by [Manuel] Pellegrini. I have worked with him for 13 years and I know what he wants. Tomorrow he can't be on the bench [because of suspension] so it's up to me to make substitutions, etc.
We had a big sense of frustration because we wanted to be back at Wembley and win another cup, but Wigan surprised us. We have turned the page and we have experienced and quality players, which means we are more united than ever and we have forgotten everything in preparation for tomorrow.
We were the only [English] team to be alive in four competitions until Sunday. We are still standing in three competitions and we will fight until the last moment and won't settle for a defeat tomorrow.
We don't listen to what's said about Barcelona being in crisis. They are the best team and players are human beings who can have a low moment – but we have to respect the quality they have.
Sunday: Manchester City 1-2 Wigan Athletic FC (Nasri 68; Gómez 27pen, Perch 47)
Pantilimon, Richards, Demichelis, Lescott, Clichy; Navas (Milner 53), Touré (Silva 53), Garcia, Nasri; Negredo (Džeko 53), Aguero.
• City's FA Cup hopes were ended by holders Wigan in the quarter-finals, in a repeat of last year's final when City went down 1-0. Wigan are managed by former City striker Uwe Rösler.
Stevan Jovetić has a hamstring injury, while Matija Nastasić is out with a knee problem.
• Barcelona have progressed 32 out of the 34 times they won the away first leg in UEFA competition, most recently against Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the 2011/12 round of 16. They have let a two-goal advantage slip, however, their 4-2 win at FC Metz preceding a 4-1 home reverse in the 1984/85 European Cup Winners' Cup first round.