Every game throws up a new story, says Iniesta
Spanish giants claim that Celtic will feel backlash after surprise defeat by Alaves
THE Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta has promised that his team will be back to their best against Celtic following their surprise home defeat on Saturday to Alaves.
The legendary midfielder was rested by manager Luis Enrique and so began the 2-1 loss on the bench alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on a sobering night at Camp Nou for the Spanish champions.
The bad news for Celtic is that Barcelona rarely if ever turn in two poor performances in succession and their supporters will demand better of their team on Tuesday.
Iniesta, who has four winners medals from the Champions League, insisted the rare slip-up in La Liga will be forgotten about quickly.
“We must have patience,” he said. “We have certainly had a bad performance but now we need to analyse the causes and correct errors. We are early in the season and there is much room ahead to improve.
“Every game has its own story. You have to analyse why what happened against Alaves happened. But against Celtic everything will be different. The loss should not affect us. Many things can be analysed after a match and on Saturday things did not go well. Alaves did a nice job and made a great effort. We will take it game by game. When there is a defeat, things must be corrected and improved ahead of the next game, and we must keep on going.
“Saturday was one of those games where nothing turns out well. We struggled and could not overcome their defence. In short, things were right and we have paid with the defeat and the loss of three important points.”
Iniesta warned against the idea Celtic could be torn apart which what happened in their last visit to Camp Nou when Barcelona put six goals past them on a night when it could have been a lot more.
“A Celtic blowout? We will try to improve our performance, although it is a different competition altogether,” said Iniesta.
Sergio Busquets wore the captain’s armband against Alaves and he, too, was adamant that the defeat and performance was a one-off and by the time Celtic arrive in Spain his squad will have recovered and be ready for the beginning of what they hope is a campaign which will being them their fifth Champions League success in 11 years.
“Many things were missing from the weekend, it was a very tough game and a much deserved win for Alaves,” said Busquets. “The international break cannot be an excuse. The manager decides who plays and there are many matches ahead. The schedule is what it is. We have been in this situation thousands of times and we have dealt with it. We have to push on. They did not cause us much danger but they were effective. Now we just have to concentrate on Celtic.”
Denis Suarez, the Barcelona midfielder, was another to trot out the party line that one defeat, and a deserved one at that, could not shake the confidence of a squad which has won everything in the game.
“What happened on Saturday against Alaves, the disappointing result, will not have an effect on the next game,” said the former Manchester City player. “We will go into the Celtic match with a new mentality because we want to get three points from our first Champions League game.
“The last game is gone and we must forget about it. The most important thing now is beating Celtic. We know how Celtic play. We have already had one match with them in the summer. They are a good team, a strong team and so this will not be an easy game. Maybe Celtic will be even better since we met them last time and then they gave us a tough game. It is the Champions League, we want to win, but we will have to be at our best because we play another champion.
“We had some players away last week with their national sides and that might have had an effect. That will not matter come Tuesday. We will be ready.”
WORD OF WARNING: Andres Iniesta is unconcerned by Barcelona’s defeat at the hands of Alaves.