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Guardiola hails worthy-winners Barca
Published : 04 Apr 2012 07:17:06
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola was delighted to see his team reach the Champions League semi-finals for the fifth successive season after a 3-1 home victory over AC Milan.
Two Lionel Messi penalties and Andres Iniesta's cute finish ultimately rendered Antonio Nocerino's away goal midway through the first half just a consolation. The first leg in Italy had finished goalless.
Guardiola said after Barcelona's Nou Camp triumph: "We have eliminated one of the big sides in Europe. It has been a very difficult victory. They have had three efforts on goal and we have had 21 and this is against a strong Italian team. If people were expecting a 6-0 or a 7-1, it doesn't work like this. Everything we have done is to win the game."
Guardiola refuted Zlatan Ibrahimovic's claims that Jose Mourinho had been right to argue that Barcelona are beneficiaries of dubious decisions at the Nou Camp, and was convinced that both penalties were correctly awarded.
"Ibrahimovic can say the same as Mourinho but we respond on the pitch. They were two penalties," Guardiola said.
"They were fouls in the area and they were given so they were two penalties. This is what I have been taught since I was a child.
"If Ibrahimovic says it is thanks to the referees then fine, but we have qualified five times and the players speak on the pitch, which is where they should do their talking."
Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri admitted that the best team had won, but he was not happy with referee Bjorn Kuipers' decision to award the second penalty just before half-time.
Allegri said: "The best team has qualified. We committed a terrible error for the first penalty, the second is more dubious and the referee gave it too quickly."