Fausto Rossi’s strike in the 17th minute was enough to decide the game. Te Catalans now need Real Madrid to drop points even if they are able to win at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in two weeks.
It was not only the result which was disappointed, but also the way in which Barcelona lost. According to Director of Sport Andoni Zubizarreta, they were “second best in everything in the first half”.
Martino, whose future at the club has already been questioned, admitted, his team had been poor.
“We found it hard to play a complete game in which we have covered every aspect of the play,” the Barca coach was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
“We were not lacking attitude, but mobility, which is what distinguishes this side. You have to move and we lacked the ability to get past people and also depth.”
Barca have now failed to win in three away matches, drawing away to Atletico Madrid and losing away to Real Sociedad and Valladolid, who had kicked off the game in the relegation zone. That is hardly the best way to prepare to play away to Real Madrid, but Martino remained confident.
“We have to go to the Bernabeu to try and win, that is what we need to do… We can win if we are at our best. There are still 15 days and we have all of that time to find our form and above all to remember that we still have to play (Manchester City) in the Champions League,” he said.
“This is our second defeat in two away games and that is worrying as it is the defining moment of the season. We have not played well, we have not constructed moves and we have not lost our markers and as time passed we were impotent,” Martino added.
Barca’ s next game sees them defend their 2-0 Champions League first leg lead over Manchester City at Camp Nou Wednesday.