Guardiola talks up Rayo courage
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola praised the courage of Rayo Vallecano after the defending La Liga champions cruised to a 4-0 victory at the Nou Camp. Two goals from Alexis Sanchez and a third from David Villa killed the game off before half-time.
Lionel Messi's strike after the break left Barca having scored 34 and conceded none at the Nou Camp this term, as they climbed to within three points of leaders Real Madrid. The result leaves their opponents in 11th but Guardiola had nothing but praise for Rayo. Describing Rayo's performance as "no surprise", Guardiola told reporters at a press conference: "We know there is a good coach there and they are doing great things. We must congratulate the courage of Rayo."
On whether Jose Ramon Sandovol's side can survive after being promoted last season, he said: "It is impossible for them not to stay in La Liga with their ambition."They have very good players who are brave and want to play. I have always said there are no good or bad coaches but coaches who are not brave and courageous."
The Barça coach also heaped praise on Sanchez for his all-round work, saying: "We knew it was one of his talents, and not only as an attacking player. "Now people have seen what he is capable of and I congratulate him."
Gerard Pique ensured he will be available to take on Real Madrid in the Bernabeu next month after he was booked seven minutes from the end for time-wasting. It will see him miss the weekend visit of Levante instead but Guardiola refused to read anything into it. "The images show what they show and everyone saw them," he said. "I do not comment on the referee's decisions. I did not do it with the penalties against Valencia or the offside against Getafe."