Iniesta hails 'sensational' Barça
Andres Iniesta has hailed Barcelona's performance in a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid, which ended their poor recent run at the Vicente Calderon, as "sensational". First-half goals from Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique cancelled out an equaliser from Raul Garcia to get the Catalan giants' La Liga campaign back on track following last weekend's shock 2-0 loss at home to Hercules.
The result also meant Barça could celebrate victory at Atletico's home ground for the first time since the 2006/07 season, having lost in each of the last three years, 2-1, 4-3 and 4-2. It was a hugely impressive performance by Pep Guardiola's team, and only the goalkeeping of youngster David De Gea kept the scoreline down.
Iniesta, who scored the only goal for Spain against the Netherlands in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ Final, received a standing ovation from the Atletico fans when he was substituted late on. "We had the game under control and Atletico practically didn't have a shot on goal," the 26-year-old midfielder told Barcelona's official website.
"We lacked another goal to be more relaxed, but I'm happy with what the team has done at a ground which recently has not been good for us. The image that the team gave of themselves was sensational."
Barcelona's success was soured by the ankle injury suffered by Messi in stoppage time, with the Argentinian superstar being stretchered off following a challenge by Atletico defender Tomas Ujfalusi, who was subsequently sent off.
Initial tests suggest the injury may not be as serious as initially feared, with the reigning FIFA World Player suffering ligament damage rather than a break, but reports in Spain suggest Barça are still set to be without the 23-year-old for at least a couple of weeks. Messi is to undergo further tests today to determine the extent of the injury and how long he is likely to be missing for.
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol revealed he was upset about the injury to his team-mate, but thrilled by the result.
"They are three very important points, in a very good game," he said. "The scoreline should have been bigger, but we are very happy."