Guardiola relieved to avoid upset
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was a happy man after seeing his side claim a "very good result" in their Copa del Rey clash with Segunda Division B side Cultural Leonesa.
Holders Barca won the away leg of their round-of-32 encounter 2-0 thanks to a brace from Pedro, who netted in the 40th and 52nd minutes to help the Catalan giants avoid the embarrassment suffered by their arch rivals Real Madrid on Tuesday night. Real were humiliated 4-0 by another third tier side, Alcorcon, and now face a huge task to get through to the last 16.
"These games are the most dangerous because they are taken for granted. We've got a very good result, and we are pleased," said Guardiola, who admitted even the best teams can come unstuck in the cup.
"They (Alcorcon) did fantastically well. It could have happened to us, and in fact has already happened to Barca. In the third tier there are players of a good level. Last year we struggled to get past Benidorm. The coaches are very well prepared, and they work hard on their plans."
Guardiola made a host of changes to the side that trounced Real Zaragoza 6-1 in the league on Sunday evening, with the only players starting both games being Maxwell, Dimitro Chygrynskiy, Sergio Busquets and the hat-trick hero against Zaragoza, Seydou Keita.
In place of many of his first-choice stars, Guardiola opted to give his fringe and youth team players a chance, with Gai, Jonathan dos Santos and Jonathan Soriano all making their official debuts for the European champions.
Busquets, who also came up through the youth ranks at Barca before going on to become a full Spain international, hailed the team's strength in depth, saying: "The reserve team has great players and we can count on them. They are capable of playing in the first team."
Regarding the match against Leonesa, the 21-year-old midfielder believes Barca were well worth the victory but warned against looking too far ahead. "We always go out onto the pitch to give 100 per cent and we always go for the win. The team has fought hard and deservedly claimed the win," he said on his club's website.
"We are the team that won the treble, but the treble was last year and if we want to win it again we have to take it step by step. We've taken a big step forward, important but not definitive. Now comes the return leg."