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Barcelona coach Guardiola: Xerez pushed us hard

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola admits they weren't at their best in victory over Xerez. Barca had to rely on an injury time goal from substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic to guarantee all three points after Thierry Henry had given them the edge over a plucky Andalusian side early in the second half.

"Our problem was how to play, how to approach the game, which was very even. The quality of our team decided the game because neither team created many chances," said Guardiola.

"It has taken a lot out of us. In part it is normal, because we're coming off games with a lot of tension and therefore I made changes. I wanted to play people who had fresh legs and minds. The game was dangerous until the end. Until the second goal, nothing was settled."

"I try to give all teams equal value. You cannot give Xerez any less respect . They have good things in their game, like their defensive line, which holds up well and is well coordinated. We were not fluid, we were slow."

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Tribal Football Staff

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