Article

Martino wary of Atletico-like Espanyol

28 March 2014 18:11

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino expects Espanyol to offer a similar threat to La Liga title rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Barca, a point behind table-toppers Atleti, bolstered their title hopes this week with victory over Real Madrid on Sunday and Celta Vigo in midweek.

While Martino's side have work to do in order to overhaul the leaders, the Argentine coach feels consistency is key.

He also believes eighth-placed Espanyol will look to close the game down and limit the opportunities on offer at the Estadi Cornella-El Prat - in much the same way Atleti do.

"Espanyol are a very similar side to Atletico Madrid. They generate pressure and make every game difficult," Martino said.

"I expect a complex game. It'll be tight, with very little space and that'll make us uncomfortable.

"I'll only speak about consistency if the league ends well for us. That is basically what this team needs.

"But things are back in our own hands. And that's very important because we are playing Atletico in the last game of the season."

Barcelona also confirmed on Friday that defender Martin Montoya has renewed his contract with the club until June 30, 2018.

Montoya, who had been linked with Inter, Roma and Liverpool in recent months, now has a buyout clause set at €20million.

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Info

0 - 1

Competition
Primera División
Date
29 March 2014
Game week
31
Kick-off
16:00
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
0 - 1

Goals

0 - 1
77' L. Messi (PG)

Lineups

# Player Bookings
13 83'
19 35'
15
18
16 75'
20
4 86'
14
9
8 26'
10
Coach: J. Aguirre
# Player Bookings
13
22
3
18 90+4'
14
4
6
16 45+1'
10 77'
7
11
Coach: G. Martino

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
6
22
24
1
3
17
23
# Player Bookings
8
9
24
15
20
21
25

Sunday 28 December

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